Robin McKelle

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How To Find A Free Practice Room

How To Find A Free Practice Room


This is a guest article from Ben Sword, founder of Music Marketing Classroom.

Here in London practice rooms have gotten crazy pricey. (Maybe you can relate)

So I decided to build an action plan allowing up and coming musicians to practice in-front of a real audience without spending a penny, in fact you can even use this to MAKE MONEY down the road.

Here are the steps…

1. Look around your town for a cool bar, pub, coffee shop, college, nightclub (you get the idea)

2. Call the decision-maker and offer to host a music night…tell them you’ll play for free until it becomes popular.

This kind of pitch is hard to refuse because they can’t really lose.

3. You’ll need to jump on Ebay and get a small PA system, which you can do for around $200 if you “snipe” well.

You could even look for some 80’s disco lights if you want to get real fancy!

4. Now turn up each week and practice your set :-)

5. If you want to do a new song play through it for an hour in the “sound check”. Make sure the band have the track beforehand and the notes to follow. Sure you might be a little shabby, but in my opinion that’s OK…if you wait for perfection before taking any action you may never make any progress.

Growing Your Night

1. Make sure that even if there is only a few people in the place that you get their email address (if possible), and tell them to bring their friends next time.

2. Hit YouTube and look up live footage from awesome performers for inspiration on stage craft. Try to make your little venue feel like the hollywood bowl!

3. Keep writing and playing new songs each week, always be looking for the new “gems”.

4. Listen to music you love with an analytical ear and ask yourself “why on earth did this tune work so well?” use what you learn to improve your own writing.

If you follow these steps there is a good chance your night will grow , then you can ask to get paid!

Getting Paid $$$

I’m sure at this point the venue manager will be happy with the new income and pay you fair, but if not you’ve got the email list and can move wherever you like with the massive incentive of already having a large audience.

So get your negotiation hat on…have the venue manager name a fee first because it might be surprisingly high.

Now maybe you can spend the new income to build your audience even faster reaching out directly to your target fanbase through something like Facebook advertising.

And since you’ve been working hard to improve your chops at the weekly show, chances are the response will be better than ever.

Why is this cool?

Practice in front of a live audience is the best you can get…it the “Beatles Effect”.

Did you know the Beatles were pretty average before they traveled to hamburg and play 18 hours a day for 6 months?

Then they came back and were so good everyone pooped in their pants.

So they took some natural talent…added a lot of practice… and Beatles Booyar!


:: Video Version ::


P.S Did you find this useful?

If so please click share below and let me know.


Ben Sword is the founder of the Music Marketing Classroom, on a mission to help musicians create sustainable careers with a simple four level marketing philosophy.

Learn more at

The Musician’s Guide to Creating an Effective Music Marketing Plan (Part 3 of 3)

The Musician’s Guide to Creating an Effective Music Marketing Plan (Part 3 of 3)

In creating an effective music marketing plan, so far we have discussed building a solid and complete online foundation and outlined strategies for a successful new release launch. Now it is time to kick back and relax for a little while before starting to write material for the next album that you’ll release a year or two down the road right…..Couldn’t be further from the truth!

To build off of all the progress you’ve been making up to this point, while you are working on that next record, you will have to keep supplying content on a consistent basis to strengthen your relationship and stay relevant with your current fans, and at the same time this content will also help to increase your fanbase.

Additional merchandise is one content idea, you can make vinyl for the last album or announce a new T-shirt design. Continue to release music videos for songs off the last album is another, for example take footage from the album release tour and edit to create an easy and fun music video to upload to your YouTube channel.

In the final post of this series I will discuss the three crucial content streams of Music, Social Media and Performing Live.



Gone are the days of releasing an album once every couple of years and leaving it at that, today’s artists need to be constantly feeding their fanbase new music. Releasing singles will keep people engaged while they are waiting on a full length, but you’re not limited to just releasing original new works.

Create alternate versions of your studio tracks:

Get a DJ to remix one of your songs. Not saying this has to be a famous DJ, just someone who knows the technology and is Sparlers Notescreative. If you’re interested in holding a remix contest should contact the folks over at Indaba Music, they put together some great remix campaigns for artists. Unless you’re already an acoustic act, take a page from Nirvana and release an album of stripped down “unplugged” versions of your studio tracks. A great way to show a different side of the band and appeal to potentially new listeners. Lastly release a live album, preferably from the CD release show, but any show will work as long as the audio is of top quality.


Record cover songs:

Music fans love covers. Recording cover songs is a great strategy for gaining awareness for new artists and providing fun content to share with your fans. Cover artists that inspire the music that you make and bigger name similar sounding artists to further entrench yourself within your genre. But also look outside of your genre as you never know, might end up tapping in to a whole new fanbase. This is exactly what the pianist Scott D. Davis did when he decided to combine his love of heavy metal with the beautiful piano pieces he was recording. The result was millions of youtube hits for his metal covers and new fans out of the heavy metal community, even of the artists themselves; Scott has been invited to open for Godsmack, Korn, P.O.D., Sevendust, Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe and Queensrÿche among others.

*Please note, to legally sell a cover song you will need to obtain and pay for a mechanical license. Harry Fox Agency is the foremost mechanical licensing agency in the US. Or work with Limelight who will get the license for a small fee per song on top of the mechanical license fee.



Social media concept

Real simple here, keep doing it. Just because you may not have a big ticket item like a new album that doesn’t mean you should stop communicating with your fans on a regular basis. You should be updating daily to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Newsletters should still be going out once a month and keep your blog active with a couple new entries per month. In addition to all the content ideas I’ve gone over in this blog post thus far that you can share, post about things happening in your personal life, such as a vacation you just went on or a great movie you recently saw. Repost interesting articles you’ve just read or a post song from a band you recently discovered that you love. News, politics, sports, parenting, art and fashion all make good topics for people to engage and connect around. Now that you have continued to stay present with fans, you’ll have a stronger and larger online audience when you’re ready to release the next album.



Continue to tour, hitting the same markets that you played while supporting the new album to build on the momentum that has been made. There are undoubtedly limitations though on how often you can tour and you more than likely won’t be able to tour to every market where there are fans. Live streaming is a great solution to these limitations and if you use a platform like Stageit or Concert Window you will also be able to monetize these performances. There are also some great features that they offer to reward supporters and create tip rewards for an enhanced and more financial rewarding experience. Then spread the word by making a Facebook invite with all the details and sending to your fans, posting on twitter and letting everyone on your mailing list know.

Keeping the shows fresh and different will help with increasing viewership from show-to-show:

  • Play a game at some point during the performance using the live streaming platforms chat feature, a fun way to interact with the viewers. Trivia would be a very easy game to execute, where people could win merch or any other prizes that you can get your hands on for being the first to answer the question correctly.
  • Learn a new cover song for each performance, or better yet, ask people what covers you should play for the next live streaming show. Post the question to Facebook as well and the song suggestion that gets the most likes will be the one(s) you cover.
  • Invite a guest performer to join you, a great way to add a new element to the live stream, while cross promoting to each others fans at the same time.



People like to follow along to real life stories that are interesting and different from their own lives, hence the popularity of realityStart TV. Used by an artist around a specific story, such as the making of a new album, is a great way to form a stronger bond with your current fans. The types of content that you could be sending are updates on how the recording is going using text posts, videos and pics via your social media channels, blog and newsletter. But also engage with your following on things like artwork and song titles by polling your fans and holding contests to select what cover or title to go with. The goal of all this activity is to get people excited so they are telling their friends about the upcoming release and will buy it the minute it’s available!


I hope that you have found these blog posts helpful. For more information on our Cyber PR® Marketing Plans For Musicians, visit here or please reach out to me directly at

Ariel Hyatt in Brooklyn, NY on 10/26/14

Ariel Hyatt in New York, NY on 10/22/14

Ariel Hyatt in New York, NY on 10/25/14

The Musician’s Guide to Creating an Effective Music Marketing Plan (Part 2 of 3)

The Musician’s Guide to Creating an Effective Music Marketing Plan (Part 2 of 3)

Releasing an album or EP into today’s music landscape can feel like a daunting task. Who do you send it to? How will you get people to listen?  How do you cut through the noise? Where are all the places to put it online?

Marketing And AdvertisingThe first blog post in this 3-part series for creating an effective marketing plan dealt with building a strong online presence, so if you follow those instructions you are already in better shape than the majority of artists releasing music today.

In this, part 2, we will discuss steps to take in order to have a successful new release launch.



You must digitally distribute your album or EP. A physical CD only release or selling MP3s strictly on your website is not the way to go.

Digital distribution allows your music to be available everywhere fans will want it. Some will prefer streamed (Spotify, Rdio) and some will purchase (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) and the best way to get added to all of these is to go to a digital distributor like CD Baby or Tunecore.

I talk to artists all the time who take this step too far and sign up with multiple distributors because they think they are covering all their bases, which they are not. All this will do is put multiple copies of the same album on all the digital retail stores.

So, choose one and stick with them. We prefer CD Baby over Tunecore’s model because it’s a one time fee plus a small % of sales vs an annual fee that Tunecore will charge. So unless you think you’ll be generating at least $1k in sales year after year, then CD Baby is the economical option.



The release of the actual music itself is one big event, and this album/EP as a whole represents your main content that will be used in an effective launch campaign.

Keep in mind that you need to also plan for other types of content to support the release. These are many assets you can use to reach out to press and share with your current following that will work to draw attention to the release.

Here are a few of the most effective categories:


Ideally you will have a tour booked to kickoff following the official release of your album or EP. I’m not saying this has to be a long tour, it can be just a few regional dates, as this will help with your press efforts. Local blogs cheering crowd in front of bright stage lightsand newspapers in each market will be much more inclined to cover a new album or EP for an artist if a show is booked in their town.

Having multiple markets to play in will also help you leverage when it’s time for a national press campaign. A list of tour dates will add credibility and demonstrate that you are an active artist working hard to promote your career.



We all know MTV does not play music anymore, that is well-worn territory, but there are thousands of blogs who do love to post videos everyday. A music video that is captivating, colorful, funny, interesting (the list goes on, but you get the idea) greatly helps with a press campaign. The video can be used in the initial pitch to blogs about your album to make for a stronger pitch.

Another thing you can do with a video is secure an exclusive premier of the video on one blog ahead of the album release date to start generating buzz. Or if you don’t have the video ready in time for the release you can also drop it a month or two after the release date as a tool to continue to build awareness and draw attention back to the release.

You should have at least one official music video for an album to use in your press efforts, but you should plan on making videos for every song on the release. The idea is you want to build a fanbase and get as many people listening as possible and YouTube is where millions of people are going to listen to music. Many artists will upload the song’s audio to YouTube with a static image of the artist or album cover, but people are much more inclined to listen to your music if there are moving images. A slideshow video is one method or a better solution is to make lyric videos, here’s a great example from the band Vampire Weekend.


Pretty much everything in regards to your music career takes longer than expected, from making the album to creating the artwork to booking shows, and this definitely applies to any merchandise you want to have available to sell with the new album or EP, so start your planning months in advance.

I will caution you to ask your fans before you make merch to find out what they might like and if you don’t have a good sized fan base merch may not be a great move (yet!), as it can be costly to order merch that doesn’t yet have an audience to buy it.

Remember to match your merch to your crowd and merch isn’t limited to T-Shirts and posters, handmade items can make for great unique offerings or flash drives are great items that are functional and can be pre-filled with your music, videos and even sheet music.

Spark sales at shows, and through your online store, by selling your music through bundling items together. At the merch booth using download stickers from companies like Bandcamp or CD Baby you can create packages by placing a sticker with a download code to your music right on the t-shirt or other physical merch item that you are wishing to bundle your music with. Even though people aren’t buying CDs much anymore, they are still interested in supporting artists they love, so give them lots of different ways to support you and purchase your music.



A big component when promoting a new album is the press campaign, and you can do this by working with a PR company to handle your press outreach or going the DIY route.

I talk to many independent artists who don’t see the point in a press campaign for their new release, usually because they (or artists they know) have spent thousands of dollars on a PR company in the past with little to no results. I definitely feel for artists here, but ignoring press completely is not the solution.

Word Pr.wooden Cubes On MagazineWhen hiring a publicist make sure your music is a good fit with their existing roster and that the publicist has a well thought out plan for the campaign, and most of all, honestly likes your music. An expensive campaign with a PR company that has some major label big name clients is not by any means a slam dunk that you will get “tons” of “great” press for your independent release, and many times will be the exact opposite. Try contacting boutique PR firms that can offer more personal attention or PR companies that are focused on independent artists.

For many artists doing-it-yourself is a totally feasible option that I consult with artists on with strategy and supplying specific media outlets to target.

For the campaign itself having all this support content that we discussed will help immensely in your outreach to press outlets, keeping a steady stream of talking points throughout the campaign instead of just talking about the album over and over and over. But do not focus on just music blogs, your passions, history, interests and hobbies that you have outside of music can all be utilized in a PR campaign. These are your niches and by making connections with blogs and their communities who share your passions and interests will provide a great opportunity to promote your music at the same time.

How To Develop and Dominate in a Targeted Niche – A Cyber PR Niche Marketing Case Study

Further reading that I linked to in Part 1 to help you prepare for PR is important info, so if you didn’t read it the first time around, here it is again.

Or Follow Ariel’s step-by-step guidebook (a whole chapter walks you trough how to get PR)

Music Success in 9 Weeks



Here is a basic model to follow for an upcoming new album or EP release. If you plan on working with a PR company though to promote a new release please don’t set the release date until AFTER you have talked with them as it is important to have their input to make sure everything is aligned with their vision and timetable.

Two Months Before Release

  • Press campaign begins
  • Release a single, a great way excite your fans and also to get some current press quotes to include when contacting press about the full length release
  • Reskin social media profiles to advertise the new release
  • Get your newsletter firing and tell fans you have a special announcement

One Month Before Release

  • Announce pre-sale campaign through your newsletter and social media networks- create bundles of merch to sell for extra boost
  • Set up a Facebook invite for the new release, send it to all your Facebook friends and post on your Fan Page

Two Weeks Before Release

  • Keep the excitement going, hold a contest to win a copy of the new album and/or tickets to the release show

Official Release Day Activities

  • Write a news post about the release on your website or blog
  • Update Twitter and Facebook with an “album out now” post and link to where they can purchase it  (I suggest you pay to boost post so people see it!)
  • Send out a Newsletter to your mailing list

One Month After The Release

  • Service press with official music video and announce tour dates

Again, the more activities you can plan surrounding a release will help build and foster excitement amongst your fans and will create more opportunities to keep contacting press with new content, while at the same time reminding them about the new album or EP.

Also don’t forget to ask your family, friends and fans to write reviews of your new release on iTunes and other digital retailers the minute it becomes available. Studies have shown that albums that are reviewed actually sell more than albums with little to no reviews posted.

In the next and final post – Part 3 I will talk about supplying content while you’re in between album cycles, as a means to stay relevant and fresh with your current fans, and to increase your fanbase as well.

At Cyber PR, We Represent Cool Bands

At Cyber PR, We Represent Cool Bands

Happy Fall Ya’ll!  It’s here, and I am excited to share a few of the immensely diverse and talented artists we represent.  I walked into a showcase 10 years ago at Folk Alliance and had my mind blown and it was because Lindsay Mac was standing in front of me playing her cello like it was a guitar and it was incredible….  So naturally I freaked out when she called me and asked if I could help her with her all new reincarnation. This is not the Lindsay Mac you used to know, you will see why.  But Lindsay is not the only artist who you should add to your newest playlist, Two other artists who you already know are in our line up: Antigone Rising who make female rock and roll real and Jubilee Riots (Formerly Enter The Haggis) both haunted a few of my mixes in the aughts.  And I’ll let you watch and listen to the others because we represent cool bands…



If You Like: Ellie Goulding, Little Boots, Katy Perry


Killer Quote: “This is NOT the Lindsay Mac you used to know” – Ariel Hyatt


stunning electro-pop of Animal Again is the latest opus of singer-songwriter Lindsay Mac. Mac is widely known as the classically trained musician who went rogue and wrote quirky folk that innovatively recast the cello as a pop compositional tool with refreshing tonal capabilities. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based artist is award winning, critically acclaimed, a mainstay on the modern folk tour and festival circuit, and an indie darling among radio programmers. In addition, she’s amassed a fanbase highly attuned to her vibrant artistic continuum. Listen to the amazing new song Remember here:




If You Like: Chairlift, Foster The People, Florence and the Machine


Killer Quote: “They’re one of Australia’s most talked about up and coming duo’s…”

Tracee Hutchison, ABC Australia


2014 began with Syre & Fresko winning 1st place in the National ABC/TripleJ Run competition, allowing them to represent Australia at the Annual Spring Gala for Chinese New Year in Beijing, performing for over 600+ million viewers in over 70+ countries. And the momentum hasn’t stopped there.


HOT NEWS: Their Original ‘Ruth’ (to be released on EP, Oct 17) has just been placed as a finalist in the global Unsigned Only Song Competition in the top 2% from 8000 entries!




If You Like: Daughter, Florence and the Machine, Paramore, Juliet Simms

Killer Quote: “…she tears down walls with her music, using starkly honest lyrics and intense vocal chops to draw her listeners in and turn them inside out”-


Only 18 years old Charlotte Erikson left everything she knew and moved to London to dedicate her life to her music and art. She began performing and writing music under the moniker The Glass Child and over time amassed 29,000 dedicated followers and fans on her socials, started her own record label Broken Glass Records, and released 5 EPs. Her single “I Will Lead You Home” reached #2 on the Swedish iTunes-chart and been played on major radio such as BBC6 (UK), Sveriges Radio (Sweden) and 3FM (Netherlands). She has let her fans in on her journey by publishing “Empty Roads and Broken Bottles; in search for The Great Perhaps” in April 2013. It tells the true and raw story about a girl who had a dream and went for it with all her heart. The book was beautifully received and sold out after 3 days of pre-order.



If You Like: Indigo Girls, Little Big Town, Sheryl Crow

Killer Quote: “Antigone Rising is carrying on the feral spirit of The Runaways”- Joan Jett


Antigone Rising stormed into 2014 with a foot stompin’ new single, a successful crowdfunding campaign, 2 fabulous EPs, a fan-made video, and a founding band member on the cover of Time Magazine. When the New York based, alt-country female rockers do something, they do it big. They Catapulted into the national spotlight in 2005 with a groundbreaking major label debut that landed them in the top 20 of the Billboard Heatseekers chart for an entire year, the ladies love outdoing their past accomplishments.

They are Set to return with a new EP, Whisky & Wine Volume 2 – Out October 28, 2014




If You Like: Augustana, Kings of Leon, Rusted Root

Killer Quote: “The guys from Jubilee Riots, on top of being amazing musicians who just released a fantastic new album, have been our poster boys, when it comes to engaging their fan base in creative and dynamic ways. Very few bands understand better how to leverage modern technology to turn their music into a journey that fans want to be a part of.”
- David Dufresne, CEO, Bandzoogle


Northern Roots act Jubilee Riots is a band that is very much centered around telling stories that resonate with truth and authenticity, as is evidenced by their latest outing, Penny Black. Inspired by years of touring, meeting people and sharing stories over late night drinks at the bar with fans, the band put out the call for people around the world to submit their stories as inspiration for their upcoming album. 500+ pages of letters came from across the globe – from the band’s native Canada to locales as far away as Japan and Australia – each carrying the weight of one fan’s emotional tale.

The band created a collection of tracks that they could perform start to finish on a late night dance tent stage at festivals; an album with an energetic pulse that would be impossible to sit still and listen to. It was that juxtaposition of upbeat party grooves with meaningful lyrics based on very personal stories that became the focus of the project.

We can’t share the music just yet but come see the brand new website here:



If you like: The Replacements, The Dandy Warhols, The Smashing Pumpkins

Killer Quote: “One of the most impressive things to mention about this album is the amount of insightful, reflective lyrics utilized… They tap into a number of sounds musically, from sounds paralleling newer bands like Built To Spill and Neutral Milk Hotel to older groups like The Smashing Pumpkins and The Flaming Lips.” – Good Vibes Music Blog


The Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based 6 piece forges a distinct sound from a variety of sources, ranging from majestic progressive rock, psychedelic, bluesy riff-rock, concise pop, and shards of shoegaze and post-rock. Since the band embraces such a panoramic stylistic perspective, the group has garnered favorable comparisons to such diverse artists as The Replacements, The Dandy Warhols, The Stone Roses, Built to Spill, and The Flaming Lips.

Their newest video Semantics was directed by Coven director Mark Borchardt, (who himself is the the subject of the essential 1999 documentary American Movie). Borchardt took a break from working on Northwestern and Scare Me, his two feature projects, to add his low-budget gore skills and you can watch band members go crazy and murder each other.  Just in time for Halloween

If you run a blog, DJ a podcast , curate playlists on Spotify or review music and you want to write about any of these fabulous artists I would be thrilled and delighted to send you music, set up interviews and invite you out to come see them.  xAriel

If You Stopped Sharing Your Voice Tomorrow What Would the World Be Missing?

If You Stopped Sharing Your Voice Tomorrow What Would the World Be Missing?

Every day brings with it highs and lows. This summer I had my share of highs and lows that I’d like to share with you.

I helped three powerful women from across three generations illustrate the great amount of impact and influence they have to offer others and the world. These were my highs this summer.

My lows involved the anxiety I felt as I began to move away from my comfort zone and into a whole new realm – thought leadership. This terminology does not sit well with everyone, I know, and this realization is where many of my hesitancies stemmed from. However, what I’ve come to realize is you can assign whatever terminology you like, but the importance still stands. If you want to get ahead in any desired field for any reason you must have some influence. This is being a thought leader, an influencer, whatever you feel comfortable calling it.

I came to terms with a great deal this summer and as we move into Fall I am confidently moving in the direction I had been temporarily set back from. I’ve been getting a tremendous amount of wonderful feedback on my article, “If You Stopped Sharing Your Voice Tomorrow What Would the World Be Missing?”, and I would love for you to read it and share your thoughts as well.


Ariel Hyatt in Boston on 09/16/14

Cyber PR’s Three G’s – GREETING, GUTS & GETTING – How To Write An Effective Newsletter

Cyber PR’s Three G’s – GREETING, GUTS & GETTING – How To Write An Effective Newsletter

You have a a lot on your plate as an independent musician. You’re trying to keep up with Twitter, come up with content for your next blog post, book shows, write tracks, and the list goes on. Probably the last thing you want to hear is how underrated the newsletter is and how you should be writing one every month. I know.

But one more hour in the studio can make a song single, and one newsletter once a month can be key to generating revenue. Your newsletter is the one place that you can ask your fans for money on your own terms. Studies prove that you can’t be pushing your newsletter to the side.

To understand why the newsletter is so crucial and for tips on how to write one that is effective read my latest post on the Cyber PR blog, Cyber PR’s Three G’s- GREETING, GUTS & GETTING – How To Write An Effective Newsletter, at

Ariel Hyatt Featured on Music Business Facts Podcast in Australia

Ariel Hyatt Featured on Music Business Facts Podcast in Australia

Ariel on Music Business Facts
I have been having a blast being interviewed on many podcasts recently. Here is part 2 of a 3-part series. This one comes from the Music Business Facts Podcast down under in one of my favorite places to visit – Australia.

This Podcast was wonderful for a few reasons:

1. I was interviewed by a professional musician and educator Rodney Holder. Rodney has a bachelors degree in communication & media production and has been teaching music business studies at tafe college since 1999. his career in the music industry began back in 1987- Initially as a drummer and co manager of my psychedelic metal band Alchemist. He released numerous internationally acclaimed albums, toured Australia countless times, and performed at some of the world’s biggest metal festivals, sharing the bills with the likes of Iron Maiden, Slayer, Motorhead, Judas Priest, and Kiss. He currently teaches a Diploma of music business at The Southbank Institute of Technology in Brisbane.

2. We talked about the best books & Online resourcesThe 4-hour work week by Tim Ferris, and Seth Godin’s – Linchpin - listen in for the others!) and online resources (Lessdoing) to share and we had a candid conversation about the power of outsourcing and why it is critical to do it in today’s crazy email overwhelmed world.

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3. There’s a fabulous question at the end about having it all to do over again and he told me that my answer was the best of all of the answers he has ever received. I got honest about our propensity to STRUGGLE instead of be in powerful flow.

I also said some dirty words in AUS that my North American friends won’t find dirty at all :) AND I reiterate that my book CrowdStart will be out June 20th! (if it kills me!)

Thank you to Rodney for a fabulous time!

Listen here.

Here’s to your success!


Protecting Your Online Brand by Posting Your Perfect Press Kit

Protecting Your Online Brand by Posting Your Perfect Press Kit

BillboardThere is something crucial that most of you are missing on your websites.

In the age of social media we are all focusing on Twitter, LinkedIn, G+, and Facebook and, we’ve forgotten an important basic: Your online press kit – the asset that makes it easy for others to publicize your brand.

In many ways, your online presence is equivalent to creating your own online billboard. If you are in control of your website and your social channels, and you have a good grasp of 2-way conversation mastery, your online billboard will have the exact messaging for your tribe (potential customers and fans).

However, if this is not the case, here are some predictable scenarios:

  • You are featured on a website or in a conference program with a random photo of you that someone Googled.
  • You are introduced at an important talk by someone who is summarizing from a and Wikipedia page that focuses on all of the wrong things. (I’ve seen this happen multiple times – it’s not a good look).
    You want all assets to be as much in your control as possible that you always have your best foot forward.

    Follow this guide to ensure that you are in control of your brand and your image.

    How To Post A Perfect Press Kit On Your Website

    Editors, bloggers, conference organizers and even potential customers will deeply appreciate having seamless access to your information because they are constantly under deadline.

    Here are the four assets to include:

    1. YOUR BIO

    Make sure your bio is easily locatable on your site and it can be easily cut-and-pasted (not in a PDF format that they can’t easily grab).

    Your bio should NOT just be a “who, what, when, where, why” or a list of business accolades. Invest in having a bio written that brings out your signature story. This should be a compelling and relatable story that evokes an emotional response from the reader.

    Post a long form, 250 word, 100 word and a Tweet sized bio and you have pre-delivered every possible type of bio request that may come your way (no one will ever ask you to edit your bio down again or worse, edit it for you and forget the most important parts.

    TIP: Post 4 versions of your bios

    • Long Form
    • In 250 – 200 words
    • In 100 words
    • In 1 tweet

    TIP:  Make sure the bio can be easily cut-and-pasted!


    Thumbnails are great for quick and easy loading but are detrimental for use in print (if you are a speaker or attending a conference where there is a directory, your photo may be appearing on posters, flyers and in a printed conference guide.

    You should always have a few downloadable photo options on your site in at least 300 dpi / jpg format. Also post vertical and horizontal photos so editors working on a tight format won’t have to resize anything.

    TIP: Create an easy-to-see link that says “click here for a hi res / low res jpg.”  That way, busy editors can get what they need easily.  When the photos are downloaded, make sure they are properly named so that editors can find them in folders and on messy desktops!


    Are you an author? Do you work at a company that has a logo that might be used (or perhaps it’s your own logo and you want it used)? Include your book cover art in both hi res and lo res (jpg format).  This way, if your book, or company is being mentioned, the artwork can be easily added.


    What you say about you is one thing… However, what others say about you is trusted in a different way.  So, if you have press or blog posts that were written about you or pieces you were quoted in, include them on your press kit page.

    TIP: Don’t link out to articles (the sites you are linking to may take them down or go dead, so make sure you include the articles archived on your site).

    Another great addition is testimonials to add from clients. If you are struggling to find some, use your recommendations from LinkedIn. If you don’t have any, send an email out to a few colleagues, your old boss or a trusted influencer in your field and ask them for a testimonial.


    If you are a speaker, include a list of the topics you have spoken on and give a description of each of your talks. If you have visuals of you up on a podium or teaching in front of an audience, include them in this section.
    If you are not (yet) a speaker and you want to include a list of topics and themes, you are capable of speaking on these topics for people to reference.

    FINAL TIP: If you can’t easily modify your website to include all of this information, you can easily set up an page and include the 5 assets listed here.

    Here’s to protecting what you want to say and show about your brand online.

    Ariel Answers 14 Burning PR Questions for Novice DIY Musicians

    Ariel Answers 14 Burning PR Questions for Novice DIY Musicians

    I was going through Google Analytics and I noticed this interview, which was originally published on the PlayItLoud Music blog in late 2011, had popped up again as a traffic source. I started to read through it and while it’s certainly a long read, there is a lot that I feel like could still help a lot of musicians seeking out PR for the first time. Enjoy!

    Ariel Hyatt is the founder of Cyber PR, a boutique digital marketing firm based in Brooklyn. Their Cyber PR® Campaigns help musicians to identify their Signature Story and achieve feature placements on niche blogs, podcasts, and Internet radio stations.

    Her book Music Success in Nine Weeks has helped over a thousand musicians get in control of their online strategies and her ongoing blogging challenges keep artists accountable through the reading process.

    Interviewing Ariel was a real pleasure. Her passion for and her knowledge of the music business is more than apparent in her answers. Before interviewing Ariel, I made a point of reading her book “Music Success in Nine Weeks”. I am usually skeptical about anything that suggests success in just a few weeks but after reading Ariel’s book I can truly say that it is a very valuable tool.  If you follow her steps you will be well on your way to success. Thanks again Ariel for answering my questions and sharing some valuable information on this business of music

    Aaron Bethune, PlayItLoud Music.

    How did you get started in the music and entertainment industry?

    I got started in the music business, basically when I graduated from university. I did what all good, self-respecting children should do and moved back into my family’s apartment in New York City with my less-than-excited parents.

    My mom is a career counsellor and she said to me, “What would you love to do?” I said I would love to be in the music business. So she said, okay, go be in the music business, and I started a very, very humbling job search that took me to many, many dead-ends.

    Finally, I ended up with a couple of things: I worked at WNEW FM radio as the associate producer to the morning show, which basically means paid intern for $69 a week. Then I worked at a big music PR firm, Kathryn Schenker and Associates, and I also worked at night at a record store in Manhattan called NYCD. So I actually had 3 jobs.

    From there…

    I had a dream to be living in Boulder, Colorado, as I had completed one semester of school there, and if you’ve ever been there, you’d understand why. It’s completely amazing. A dear friend of mine had read in a local newspaper, back when people actually did that, that there was a little record label from New York City that was relocating to Boulder.

    He clipped out the article and sent it to me, saying that I needed to get a job there. So I marched into this record label and of course, they offered an unpaid internship, which I took; I worked my butt off and got hired a few weeks later. I worked there for a year and relocated with them to Boulder.

    From there, I moved on to a concert promotions company, which was great, and then I started my own business. By the time I started my own business, at the ripe age of 23, I had worked in many areas of the music industry – corporate radio, in an indie record store, a high profile public relations firm (representing Sting, Bob Dylan, and Tina Turner), at a very successful independent record label, and at concert promotion company. Plus I had interned at two of the most respected PR agencies in the fashion world throughout college (KCD & Lynne Franks Limited). So I had a nice rounded experience and understanding of many different facets of the music and the PR business.

    What is PR?

    I asked the same question on the first day of my first internship at a PR firm in London. I’ll never forget the answer the guy gave me. I was 19 years old, it was my first internship, and I said, “Can you tell me what PR is?” He said,

    “PR? It’s PR!”

    I thought, “Wow. Thank you for that.”

    You can imagine that internship was a disaster from that moment on. Anyway, the process of PR is the communication of a product, a good, a service, or a person, to the media.

    So when you hire a publicist, you’re basically hiring a mouthpiece to communicate to the media world your message or what it is you would like to promote. Until I started working in PR firms, I really didn’t understand the depth of how PR touches almost everything you read in the media. For example, if you’re a woman who likes fashion magazines, when you pull open a magazine and you see “Our favourite shampoo of the month”, or “Our favourite lip-gloss”, or “The best pants to wear this season”, that is all 100% work of a publicist. The editor did not go walk around to find the best anything. The publicist worked very, very hard with the editor to place the product. Every facet of almost every business has publicity – politicians, products, goods, services – almost everything you can think of. Stores, cities, towns, and of course, musicians all have publicists. When you hire a publicist, what you are doing is hiring someone to represent you to the media. When I say the media, I mean newspapers, magazines, television, radio and now it’s been the vastly expanded in recent years to blogs, podcasts, internet radio, almost anything. So that is, in a nutshell, what it is.

    What is viral marketing and how does it affect the music business?

    Viral marketing is an interesting term, because, you can’t really make something “go viral”; it is near impossible to do. We don’t know what could go viral.  For example think about the Double Rainbow video, that got over 23 million views on YouTube in 2010 or almost anything that gets a ton of hits – maybe people create those things hoping they “go viral” but the truth is ‘viral like a virus, just spreads.

    We don’t say “I’d like to get a virus today,” you just get a cold. It catches.

    Viral marketing is the practice of working with unique assets like videos or music, or blog posts. It could also be products in the real world but because I’m an internet publicist, I’m speaking about the online world.

    Viral marketing is something that gets put on the internet and it catches on and takes off. It gets multiple views and when it goes viral, it just means there’s some sort of stickiness attached to it. We never know if it’s going to go viral: certainly there are some predictors but there are no guarantees. Almost every time I interview artists, if I say “If you had $500 to spend, what would you do?’’  The most popular answer is: “I would hire someone to make me go viral.” I wish it were that simple.

    What is Web 2.0?

    Web 2.0 is what they started calling the semantic web, although I don’t think that took off so well. It’s the internet in its current iteration. Web 1.0 is the internet as we used to know it. Different websites would be very predictable things; if you went to someone’s website – any website – whether it was for a band, or for a product, you would see a page, probably an image, “About Us, History, Contact Us, Our Mission,” basically a catalogue experience. Any website you went to at the beginning of the internet looked like that.

    With the advent of Web 2.0, two-way conversations started to be present on platforms. So you could leave comments, you could link to Facebook and Twitter Feeds. Web 2.0 is basically the evolving internet made possible by new interactive platforms being invented and the fact that broadband is now widely available.

    Honestly, I don’t think it’s necessary to know what Web 2.0 is to be successful but the conversation about the emerging internet is very interesting. Now people are talking about Web 3.0, a more predictable experience, more interactive, more intuitive, easier to use etc.

    How important is a band’s pitch?

    I believe a pitch is the most important thing a band or artist can develop.

    Without a pitch, people will have no context for understanding who you are or what you sound like. Unfortunately, many bands are terrible at creating pitches. It’s critical because we have very, very short attention spans in today’s world. If you don’t have a concise pitch that gives people an instant hit, you’re basically robbing yourself of possibilities.

    What makes for a good pitch?

    Something that’s extremely descriptive and catchy; descriptive doesn’t mean you have to sound like somebody else, though that’s a very helpful context. Catchy could be anything from fun, like hillbilly-flamenco, or poly-ethnic Cajun-slam-grass, or it could be really descriptive like Joan Jett meets Jessica Rabbit. Those are three of my favourite pitches, they’re in my book because they are really good. If I was in an elevator with Devil Doll and I asked her “what kind of music do you make,” and she answered “it’s Joan Jett meets Jessica Rabbit,” that’s dead on. She’s a rocker who’s got a really sexy, curvy look. A pitch like that, a short concise piece, is crucial.

    Bands are normally terrified, they don’t want to say they sound like anybody, they don’t want to pigeonhole themselves. It really is a disservice to try to invent a new genre of music to explain what you are. It may feel creative, but people don’t understand it.

    What are the most important social sites that bands should be a part of?

    I think if you ignore Facebook and Twitter, you’re crazy. It’s important to have those sites in your reach. Of course, there are other sites that could be very effective as well, for your genre, but those are two you should absolutely use and use well.

    In today’s music business, how do you think a band can best get through or above the noise?

    That’s a tough question. There is so much noise. What I preach, and what I think is really effective is engagement. Engaging people online starts with understanding your audience. People want to feel connected. If you’re just speaking at people and you’re not speaking with people, they’ll go elsewhere for that connection.

    So, to rise above the noise… first of all, of course, this is all predicated on having really good music, so don’t suck. Work on your music, don’t just put anything out there. I see that all too often – people think just because they have a home studio, they have a right. Just because it’s easy to post on social media sites, that doesn’t mean you should. Be thoughtful, that’s the first step in rising above the noise. Just because I have a digital camera doesn’t mean I should take 3000 pictures and post them on Flickr. If I take 3000 pictures and I edited them down to 5 that were really stunning, and people saw them and appreciated them, that’s a good start. So, have great music – that’s the cornerstone.

    Then the next piece is make connections. How do you do that? That’s really based on understanding your audience and that’s critical. There are million articles and books about how to do that but I also think you can get out there and play live. Connect with people and never squander an opportunity. Every day is an opportunity to connect with people, and that means if you’re playing a live show, get your butt behind your merchandise table and sign. I don’t care if you sign free postcards, or give away stickers – talk with people, connect with them. The most successful artists I know today who are making money and I’m not talking about Mick Jagger, but independent artists that are making it on their own – they take the time to connect personally with their fans.

    What are some good ways to get people to sign up for a newsletter?

    When people are considering signing up to a newsletter, which most people are not excited to do because we all get too much email, it’s not only about just getting people to sign up, it’s about making sure that when they do sign up, you’re giving them an amazing experience. I think that piece we forget. We’re so busy worrying about “get me names! I want names,” we forget that it was really important to have great content.

    First, make sure you’re building a newsletter that has great content, then second make sure it’s going out regularly, consistently, and that it’s trackable (meaning you can pull up statistics on how effective it is). Whenever anyone is thinking of joining a mailing list, they’re thinking “What’s in it for me?” So you have to make sure you’re providing good content for them, make sure that you’re giving away music, make sure you’re doing something that’s interesting. So always think when you’re asking people to sign up, “what can I give?” Be generous. Giving away one track for a newsletter signup is probably not going to get you far. But if you give away three plus a video, then there’s something in that for a potential fan or a loyal fan already.

    What should a band not do while trying to succeed in this business?

    Don’t be impatient. It’s hard when you’re talking about your art: we want it now. I’ve definitely felt that way, and I’m not a band, I’m on the other side of it. Don’t be inflexible. Don’t be lazy. I like equating succeeding in the music business with succeeding at losing weight. I think every band should look at themselves as completely obese people. If you weigh 350lbs and your goal is to be a strapping healthy weight, that means you probably have to lose 150 lbs. That doesn’t happen overnight, that takes sheer dedication and effort. There are no shortcuts in the music business. You’re going to have to get up at 6 in the morning, go to the gym, do your cardio, lift your weights, eat well and you have to do that for a long time.

    That’s really what it takes. I don’t know any artist that has been in the music business a long time that isn’t experiencing some level of success. That doesn’t exist. What you focus on expands. If you focus on being successful in the music industry, you will succeed. It’s really that simple. But that’s not easy information for most people.

    The average is about seven years. That is depressing – 7 years. When you look at all these artists that have supposed meteor rises to the top –they didn’t. If you go back and look, they gigged and gigged, and failed many times along the way  but they all worked hard for many years to get there.

    What are some of the changes you’ve seen, and what are some of the changes that you foresee in the music business?

    Obviously the biggest changes I’ve seen, which is why I adapted my company, is the rise of social media, the two-way conversations online, online promotions, and marketing. All that is only going to get bigger, and it’s never going to go away. That’s the bad news. You will never be done with your internet marketing, never. Staying malleable and adaptable is the true key there. Technology will continue to expand our horizons. It’s all about staying on top of it, or at least in it.

    You’re focusing a lot on the PR and online side of things. Realistically, what percentage of an artist’s career is in the marketing and the online presence, what you were talking about in your book, and what % is left in the music and its performance live… where’s the money?

    There’s money in placements in film and TV, in live music, in bundling merchandise. There are fewer places to get it, but if you go to a spectacular show and the artist moves you and the hair on the back of your neck stands up, and you’re going to walk out of that show with a CD. Of course, there is still a profit center there. I think that many artists have gotten really smart: they’re looking at diversifying, some artists teach piano lessons, some artists conduct church choirs, and some artists do other things that are music related – vocal lessons, etc. There are a lot of ways to make money from music, that’s not about making your own original music and selling it.

    What’s the percentage? Some people say it is 50% music, 50% business….

    I’ve heard an even more painful statistic: to really win at business, you have to spend 30% of your time working in the business and 70% of the time working on the marketing of the business. Telling that to a musician is blasphemy.  They don’t want to hear that.

    I don’t think that you have to do that all the time, but to really succeed you better understand that locking yourself in your basement and just writing music, which of course is critical to your craft, is only one side of what you need to do to succeed, and the other side really has a lot to do with getting the word out there and making sure that you have gigs and making sure you have everything else, all your ducks in a row. It’s an extremely painful lesson, unfortunately. Yes, 50% is a good percentage, but 70% is an even better percentage. If there is 5 people in a band, I see this all the time, there seems to be one person doing all the business work and everybody else just gets to show up. That’s a recipe for total disaster.

    What is a realistic time-frame for a PR campaign to show results?

    Depends on the type of results you are looking for. If you’re talking about a traditional PR campaign in major publications these are known in the PR-world as “long-lead press,” (Spin and Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair) that means you have to begin thinking about your press placement at least three months before the issue comes out. So for Christmas press you must have your Christmas tracks ready to go at the end of August, and your publicist should be lining up your Christmas pitches for long-lead press by September. This takes planning and foresight and I have met a lot of artists who don’t think this far in advance. Of course, for daily and weekly newspapers, there is a shorter window. If you’re promoting a live event in a local newspaper, the editor needs a minimum of 4-6 week’s notice to schedule you in. They have to get interviews and artwork and they are getting inundated by hundreds of other publicists and events that month, no matter what city you are playing in, so again: Planning and foresight are key.

    With the internet, it’s very fast and can be instantaneous. Blogs are looking for information quickly and efficiently. We’ve released MP3s on a Monday and by Tuesday there are internet radio stations streaming, blogs posting, and people sharing it all over the social networks.  So when you talk about an online PR campaign that’s a whole different beast.

    7 Google Apps that All Musicians Need To Know About

    7 Google Apps that All Musicians Need To Know About


    Google, in my humble opinion, is the most amazing invention since anything else I can really think of. And Google is not just a big search engine, although it would still be awesome if that’s all it did.

    Google has been offering a suite of incredibly powerful tools for years; way before ‘in the clouds’ become the next big thing for companies like Apple and Microsoft. And to make it even better, Google has recently created a platform for musicians that offers even further tools that will help independent musicians all over the world to thrive in the digital world called ‘Google Apps‘.

    Google is, quite simply, a portal that truly puts all of the worlds electronic information at your fingertips – there’s a good reason why the word “Google” has become synonymous with searching online.

    Here are 7 Google Apps designed to help you through all of Google’s awesomeness and use it to your benefit.

    1. Google Alerts
    Have you ever spent hours trying to track down articles on a certain subject, topic or even about your band / your brand? With Google Alerts, whatever words you select will be searched by Google and emails will be delivered to in your in-box.

    To Setup A Google Alert

    Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 1.39.59 PM

    1. Visit
    2. Choose your search terms.
      1. You may include wildcard characters (*) to expand the search to find words containing the search terms, i.e. “fi*” will return results for “fish,” as well as “ficus”
      2. Use quotation marks ( Cyber PR ) to search for only the exact words in the search, in the exact order entered
    3. Choose the type of alert you would like.
    4. Select the frequency of alert emails.(Daily works best)
    5. Enter the email to which you would like the alerts emailed

    2. Google Blog Search
    This is basically a filter for only searching blogs; and with 270 million blogs out there, on top of all the websites, this is a great filter for all the noise. This is also a great place to track your band on blogs. To search on Google’s Blog search, go to this link:

    3. Gmail
    If you still have an AOL or hotmail address, you’re in trouble. Gmail just may be the best e-mail program/website on the planet. Many bloggers and new media makers use Gmail and it shows you’re in the know, so get signed up.

    Google e-mail is so wonderful because it is searchable by topic or by word, and Google provides you with a huge amount of storage space.

    Using Gmail as your default mail host, you can set up an URL and add GoDaddy for 7.95, then point it to the server and voila! You have a customized e-mail addresses for free.

    4. Google Drive
    Google Drive (formerly Google docs) is, in essence, the entire Microsoft Office suite offered to you for free, is synced completely online so you can access it from anywhere without taking up any storage space on your computer, and can be shared with anyone who has a Google account. This is an incredibly helpful tool for you and your team to take advantage of to keep track of lyrics, merchandise, accounting, and anything else you would otherwise use Word or Excel for.

    5. Google Music Artist Hub
    Google recently introduced their first digital music store called Google Music, and unlike iTunes and Amazon, Google has made Google Music incredibly easy for you to get your music listed for sale by creating the Google Music Artist Hub, a platform for you to be able to list, organize and manage all of your music being sold in their store. And to make it even better, having your music for sale in the Google Music store also means that you can sell your music though Youtube as well!

    All you need to do to get on Google Music is to register for an Artist Hub account, which requires a one-time, $25 fee, and they will walk you through how to get your music published!

    6. Google Calendar
    Google Calendar is a highly integrated, yet very simple calendar application that is synced to your Google account so it can be accessed form anywhere you can access the internet. The best reason for you to be using Google Calendar is that multiple users can sync to the same calendar, which means it is a free solution for you, your band, and your team to be on the same page for any upcoming events or deadlines that you may have.

    7. Google+
    Google introduced Google+ in 2011, and the Facebook meets Twitter design and functionality made it the latest and greatest social networking platform to enter the competitive market. What makes Google+ so important for you is that, because it is a Google owned and operated platform, it ranks very highly in Google searches, helping you with your search engine optimization.

    Google+ is so deep that we dedicated an entire Musician’s Guide article to the platform, covering many of the important features you’ll need to know about!

    6 Ways to Make Sure You Don’t Waste Your Time on YouTube

    6 Ways to Make Sure You Don’t Waste Your Time on YouTube


    Recently, we connected with Ryan Carey regarding his experience with YouTube and he was gracious enough to give us this guest blog post sharing his advice.

    Ryan originally started this post by saying he is no expert…

    We beg to differ.

    Ryan Carey (@ryanwcarey) worked at YouTube for 5 years and is now a freelance video strategist and camera presence coach based in San Francisco and Brooklyn.

    Here are Ryan’s 6 pieces of advice for any of you working on building a personal brand through video:

    1. Your videos are not going to go ‘viral’

    I’m sorry. The news had to be broken. The closest word in our English language to ‘viral’ is miracle. Now that our dreams have been crushed, it’s time we begin putting in work to be serious (and taken seriously) with video.

    2. Take time building a home

    This is the difference between straw and brick. Do you have a YouTube ‘account’ (it’s called a channel)? Did you sign up and never put anything more into it? If yes, you have a YouTube house made of straw. One needs to take time setting up a channel properly, learn basic editing and be able to offer consistent polished content. This is what I call YouTube muscle – which means investing some sweat in building the brick foundation. Once complete, maintenance is lowered (still very relevant) and you can focus more on your content.

    3. If it’s not fun, you’re doing it wrong

    As a culture, we have gone from sitting in front of the TV watching a total of 5 channels to having power at our fingertips to create any style of show we want. We can assume the role of stars and no one has to approve it or give us a deal. If someone had come 30 years ago and said we’d someday be able to make our own shows, we’d all be excited. That is fun.

    4. We are all making shows

    This might be your first season. How many episodes will you make? How long will they be? What’s yours about? How often will you release them? Reading this may seem overwhelming, but it’s not. It’s just work that goes into building the muscle to make your personal brand smoother on video.

    5. Polish

    This is the difference between showing up to a black tie affair in jeans versus a tuxedo. Polish means a concise video, an accurate description, your own intro/outro and smooth transitions every single time. It also means asking yourself if the audience will stay engaged with what you’ve made. If you answer no, tighten it up and tuck in your shirt.

    6. Don’t waste time

    Both yours and the audience’s. Everyone knows attention spans are at an all time low. YouTube is no different. If your video doesn’t pop until 25 seconds in, you may lose half the viewers. If there is a 3 second pause of you thinking on camera about what you’re going to say, that’s a risk of releasing the audience member who could easily become a lifetime fan loyal to your personal brand. Or at the very least a subscriber.

    Be fast. Be loud. Be confident.

    You’re not a sitcom nor a reality show. You get to choose who you are on camera, and whoever you choose, ensure it’s professional.

    Ariel Hyatt in Brooklyn, NY on 06/18/14

    Advice to Prospective Interns (from an Intern)


    This guest post was contributed by Conor McClure (@conorjmcclure), one of our rockstar interns this spring. He hails from North Carolina, where he’s finishing up a degree in music business at Appalachian State University. When he’s not promoting Cyber PR artists 40 hours / week, he blogs at his personal website, is an avid photographer, and is obsessed with all things digital.

    Hi everyone! Conor here. First, a bit about myself. I came to Cyber PR from Appalachian State University down in North Carolina, where I am in the final phases of completing my undergraduate B.S. in Music Industry Studies. The degree program, a sort of hybrid music business degree based in the Hayes School of Music, is a nationwide leader, producing graduates who have mastered Grammy-nominated singles and produced blockbuster films. My own passions lie in the digital realm of marketing, so applying to intern at Cyber PR was a no-brainer. I was ecstatic when I received the good news.

    My first day in the office was January 6, and I’m finishing up here in about two weeks. I think now’s a great time to talk about some things I’ve learned while here—mainly, what to expect out of an internship, and how to make the best out of it.

    This is no coffee-run internship

    Let’s get this one out of the way quickly: most people associate unpaid internships with coffee runs and data entry. This might hold true in more corporate environments, where the staff is already well-equipped to handle tasks without your help, and internships are basically akin to indentured servitude. In those cases, sure, you’ll probably just have to suck it up and clean the toilets when told to. Here at Cyber PR, my work as an intern was always valuable to the company. Very rarely did my supervisors ever assign me to do useless, menial labor. If you must do an unpaid internship, I encourage you to seek out a smaller business with a more hands-on team; your work is much more likely to be of greater value.

    The boring work doesn’t have to be boring

    All that being said, sometimes you have to do boring, tedious stuff. (This isn’t just an intern thing; Ariel’s salaried staff are often doing the same thing. It’s not all fun and games here, people!) That doesn’t mean that copy-pasting into spreadsheets has to be boring. If, like me, your internship is your first 40 hour/week experience, then this is a great time to start to craft and perfect efficient workflows, time management plans, and pacing skills.

    You’ll learn communication skills quickly, whether you want to or not

    I like to think that I’m an extrovert. The stereotypes hold true—I’m a southerner in New York City, so I automatically come off as a bit over-polite and patient. However, if you’re assigned phone duty (which you will be,) you’ll soon find yourself dealing with all sorts of people from all over the world with all sorts of communication abilities. You will rapidly develop the ability to handle each of them appropriately, a skill that is incredibly valuable in the real world and, with the advent of emails and texting, increasingly difficult to find.

    You won’t always like the product you’re promoting

    And that’s okay. For example, I’m not the biggest EDM fan in the world. But when I’m tasked with promoting a new EDM artist, then believe me, I’m going to promote the crap out of them. When you take on a job, you take on the responsibilities that come with it, whether you always agree with them. We can’t always reserve our time for the best of the best or our favorite thing; sometimes, you have to work with products (artists, genres, people, etc.) that you aren’t in love with, but it’s your job to set that aside. This is something you’ll have to do in any job you ever have, so it’s a valuable skill to learn now.

    Networking is critical

    One of my professors back in school was notoriously fond of preaching the importance of networking, and is probably laughing to herself as she reads this article, because I’m admitting that she was so right. The prospect of meeting new people, making or answering cold calls, and hosting parties for strangers (“VIPs”) can be very intimidating for many people, but it’s important to keep in mind that you never know if one of these people will be your next boss, or will be putting you in touch with your next boss. When you hear of these opportunities that may extend beyond your weekly hourly quota or comfort zone, think twice before dismissing them. You’re still young, and these are chances that you don’t want to miss out on.

    You’ll learn to really appreciate your victories

    At Cyber PR, we pride ourselves on our ability to have our clients represented as promised. However, it might not always be understood that, more often than not, with each success comes 10 failures. It can be very dissatisfying to send so many emails and get so few responses back. In the end, this is how the game is played, and you learn to accept that. It makes you work that much harder to achieve success, and when you do, you feel that much better about it. Clients, take note: each victory, whether it seems like it or not, is hard-earned.

    You never know what will come after this

    Let’s be honest: as interns, we often go into these internships expecting—or hoping—to get a job out of it. It could be a full-time job, or a nice reference letter, or something else. Many of us might know that it doesn’t often work out that way for everyone. I can say that it does work out for people who really set their minds to it.

    Don’t fall into this mindset: “Oh, I’m just an intern, they’re not even paying me, so why bother?”

    I know this all from experience here. The more you apply yourself in your job, the more you stand to get out of it. Lately, I’m been doing more and more “real” work here (read: paying work.) And I have plans to continue providing a variety of services to Cyber PR and related companies, and am in talks with others through my coworkers’ recommendations. This all happened because I was diligent, set my mind to it, and worked hard.

    No two internships out there are exactly alike. If you come to intern at Cyber PR, you may have a similar experience that I did, or it may be completely opposite. There are always going to be many elements that are beyond your control. I can guarantee you though, take some of this advice, really apply yourself at whatever you end up doing, and you’re bound to see good things come out of it.


    By the way, if you are interested in interning with Cyber PR, check out this page for more information. And some insider advice: call in and ask about it. It shows guts, and will leave a good impression.

    Good luck!

    Top 10 Cyber PR Clients of Spring 2014

    Top 10 Cyber PR Clients of Spring 2014

    This is one winter I am thoroughly glad to say goodbye to! It’s just now starting to feel like spring (sort of).

    To celebrate the new season, today we shine the spotlight on the top 10 Cyber PR® clients of Spring 2014. With the level of talent we represent, this is never an easy decision… However we’ve compiled a list of 10 clients that have received the most attention from bloggers, podcasters and internet radio stations.

    Congratulations go to each of the artists below on their successes, and a HUGE thank you to all of the media makers who have supported (and continue to support!) us and our artists as well.

    – Ariel and Team Cyber PR®


    6fe924a45f4e03a48aa3a720652aa6eb-2FEST300 – Founded by Chip Conley, head of Global Hospitality for Airbnb , and his co-founder Art Gimbel, creator of popular festival app World Festival Guide, is the premiere source for personalized festival discovery around the world. Their team of seasoned travel & festival experts present the world’s best festivals through honest reviews and vivid imagery depicting the festivals, their atmospheres, and overall experience.

    iZqh2RmTBaliSpirit Festival – The BaliSpirit Festival was founded as a premier international and holistic wellness and world music destination event that contributes positively to the ecological health, cultural vibrancy, and overall vitality of Bali and greater Indonesia. The goal of the BaliSpirit Festival is to awaken and nourish each individual’s potential for positive change within, leading to positive change in our homes, in our communities, and around the world.

    Cool Apps:

    b47e1569810e538f62cd1413d5a3bf9eJamstar – Jamstar is an interactive mobile (iOS and Android) and desktop app that acts as your own personal guitar teacher. Jamstar is catered for guitarists of all levels, and works with any acoustic and electric guitar, without requiring an extra device/ attachment to work along with a phone, tablet or computer. Jamstar is the only zero-latency guitar lessons app available on the market, which means that you will be given feedback in real time as you work through technique and style lessons, as well as individual songs from bands such as Led Zeppelin, Grateful Dead, Foo Fighters, Beatles, Muse and more through their partnerships with Alfred Music Publishing in the US and Faber Music in the UK.


    Bedloo – Bedloo is a social voting mobile (iOS and Android) and desktop app that has taken a familiar concept (as seen by Polar – and has significantly expanded upon it. Unlike the competition, Bedloo is the first social voting app to incorporate photos, videos (via YouTube) and audio (via Souncloud) into one app. 

    Fierce Fabulous Females:

    uKEiRvggAshley Davis – Kansas-born Celtic-Bluegrass musician Ashley Davis is about to release her fourth album “Night Travels”. An internationally recognized recording artist and songwriter, Ashley has collaborated with such musical luminaries as the Chieftains’ Paddy Moloney, fiddle player Eileen Ivers, harpist Cormac De Barra, singer-songwriters John Doyle and John Spillane, and the “First Lady of Celtic Music,” Moya Brennan. Throughout her career, she has, to quote NBC’s “Today Show” co-host Meredith Vieira, thrilled audiences with “new music springing from ancient roots.

    WCXoIJ2dCarry Illinois – The essence of the folk heritage is music for the people by the people, and singer-songwriter Lizzy Lehman furthers this tradition in a variety of meaningful ways. As a solo artist, she draws on the folk tradition to sincerely express herself and forge deep communal bonds across social and societal lines. Within a band context—with her group Carry Illinois—she progresses the music form through bold sonic experimentation. The Austin, Texas quartet specializes in reimagining Lizzy’s campfire folk compositions with adventurous musicality and spacy textures. The group’s five-song debut EP Siren is best described as late-night heart worn indie folk-rock.

    b790c62d9b446f78382ab8ececf69a0a-2Carrington MacDuffie – Poet/songwriter and New York native Carrington MacDuffie felt her spirit come alive in the Americana scene of Austin,Texas. Her new EP “Only An Angel” is a cool breeze of Americana, with its sheen of contemporary musical arrangements, her soothing and sexy vocal style, and the fluidity of world-class musicianship.  MacDuffie draws on artists who incited her imagination at a young age, such as Bobbie Gentry, Neil Young, and Cat Stevens. She sidesteps the laden narrative nature of more traditional Americana and speaks in lush imagery to express some of the most troublesome of human uncertainties.

    Children’s Artists & Youth Projects:

    wyFWiy7rJonathan Sprout – Singer-songwriter and recording artist, Jonathan Sprout has dedicated the past 20 years to creating meaningful and captivating music for children. Jonathan has performed more than 5,000 concerts and lead more than 750 songwriting workshops for children. His recordings and concerts have earned critical acclaim as groundbreaking entries in the field of educational children’s music and his album “American Heroes #3” was nominated for a Grammy® in 2010. Jonathan recently completed his 10th album, “American Heroes #4”, which was released in February, 2014.

    4da18e9426afda8d7d50f6aa0fe662adRhythm Child – Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter/percussionist/educator Norman Jones is ushering in a new era of children’s music. His family band and brand “Rhythm Child” is an innovative platform offering children soulful and meaningful music with an interactive component to bolster health and developmental skills. With accolades and endorsements ranging from the First Lady to respected educational media, Jones and Rhythm Child are reimagining the kid’s music experience. Through Rhythm Child, Jones has released 2 full lengths, 1 EP, an instructional drumming CD, an illustrated lyric book, and he’s also offering a REMO Sound Shape Drum & Stick with the Rhythm Child Logo printed on the head. The signature drum allows children to be a part of the music, granting them a powerful interactive tool to use at shows and at home while enjoying Rhythm Child CDs.

    Jg7cve0gThe Yr12 Music FestivalThe Yr12 Music Festival, based in Sydney, AUS, provides eight public concerts, designed to give ‘Year 12′ students (high school) the opportunity to perform to the public. Over six thousand Yr12 musicians reach an incredibly high standard for their final exams and neither teachers nor their family and support team nor members of the public are allowed to share their moment of excellence.

    9 Steps To Getting A Job In The Music Business

    9 Steps To Getting A Job In The Music Business

    Business Man at Starting Line Road Path

    So… you want to be in the music business? There are a lot of you out there. I know this because every time we put out a call for interns or jobs at Cyber PR®, we get over 100 resumes.  As you know I love breaking things down into steps (see:  So, I wrote this guide for you. Once upon a time, I was just like you: dying to follow my passion and aggressively trying to land a job in the industry of my dreams. It was a humbling and, at times, humiliating exercise.

    Interns are much needed in every facet of the industry, and most of my music industry friends (myself included) started out as unpaid interns back in their day and we leveraged our unpaid internships into paying jobs. Unpaid internships, however, were recently made illegal after a lawsuit against Warner Music Group, so you can at least be guaranteed some form of compensation for your internship (though don’t expect much).

    Step 1: Identify Your Ares of Interest

    Search your mind. Ask yourself what part of the music business do you want to be in? Is it working at a label, a radio station, a publicity firm, an online marketing company, in touring, or digital distribution? You may not know the answer to this question yet and that’s alright. You are not supposed to know until you get some experience in a particular area. BUT if you don’t specify what you are looking to try, the people in charge of hiring you will have NO CLUE where you will fit or how they can fit you into their business. So having a list of general areas of interest is a necessity.

    Here are two suggestions to help you get a working knowledge of what different parts of the music industry are available:

    1. Read music business related websites like Hypebot & Music Think Tank and start reading articles and news. There are countless articles available advising musicians and marketers on how do tackle their own careers.  If the articles resonate with you and seem interesting than you have found a good match.

    2. Create a list of areas that you are interested in working in.

    • Major Label(i.e. Sony, Warner) – Specify a department: Promotions, Publicity, Radio, Marketing, Licensing…
    • Indie Label – You probably won’t need to specify departments they are small it will be all hands on deck.
    • Indie Artist – Remember many artists are DIY and would love the help of a capable person so working for the artist is an option as well.
    • Marketing Firm – There are many genres within: Regional, Online/ Digital, Tour, Specialty / Niche/Lifestyle
    • Radio Station – Specify a department: On Air, Producer, Sales, Promotions, etc.

    More: Publicity Firm, Management Company, Booking Agency, Indie Radio Promotions, Music Venue, Concert Promoter, Production / Recording Studio, Publishing Company, Film & TV Licensing, Special Events Company.

    Research as much as you can in your chosen field. Again, think like a musician. There are a million resources available for musicians that list companies that help support them, and they all have websites that clearly show what they do and who their clients are.

    Step 2: Make Your Dream List of Companies & Artists

    If you love a specific band or artist, look up who they work with and put those companies on your list because nothing is more thrilling and satisfying than working for your favorite artists and bands (I still get a thrill out of that and I’ve been working in the music industry for 19 years).

    Step 3:Rock Your Resume

    Next, create the best resume you can put together. There are many websites, books, and even your career counseling office at school that can instruct you on how to do this so I’m not going to get into much detail here. But please heed this advice:

    Be Concise – One page only

    Be Detailed – What exactly did you do at the previous jobs that you list?  These should express your talents.

    Be Interesting – Include personal touches and hobbies or special interests.

    Be Social - On your resume don’t forget to mention how many followers you have on Twitter, Facebook, and which music promotion social media sites you know how to use Last FM, ReverbNation, etc.

    TIP: The music business tends to be informal, so you have some room to play with your resume and make your personality shine through more than you would on a “corporate” resume.

    Step 4: Recommendations Rule

    I call the first people that have great reference letters in for interviews first!

    Call an old employer, a professor, or a person in your life that can write you a spectacular recommendation letter. If you can ask the person writing the letter to mention strengths that will be cohesive with the job you want, it will really make you stand out.

    Step 5: Start Applying

    Now that you have your list, there are three places you can go:

    1. Straight to the companies of your dreams that you have discovered – in these cases, they may not be advertising for interns so you need to cold call and ask first if they would consider accepting a resume (be excited and tell the truth that you

    found out about their company and you would love to be considered). Then ask to whom the resume should be addressed.
    2. Websites where employers post for interns – We use our own blog and LinkedIn.

    3. Your college’s career office (Don’t count on them as your main resource – my best interns found me by looking online).

    Step 6: Know the Golden Rules

    NEVER EVER send a resume without a cover letter. It’s totally unprofessional.

    Include the NAME, ADDRESS, COMPANY NAME, and INDIVIDUAL’S NAME on each cover letter, and CUSTOMIZE each letter FOR THAT SPECIFIC COMPANY. Yes, this will take longer but it will also get you results. If it is not obvious call and politely ask!

    Note: Out of the 100 resumes I received on my last round of hiring, only three people put my company name on the cover letter and wrote “Dear Ms. Hyatt”.  A few wrote “Dear Sir.” Under no circumstances am I a sir (a 1.1 second Google search will tell you this).

    100% of all of these letters mentioned in the first paragraph that the candidate had excellent communication skills – and I thought are you kidding me?? If you are so excellent at communicating, how come my name was not mentioned anywhere?  The letters that really annoyed me and made me never want to meet the candidate were the letters that said  “Dear HR Dept” or even more gross: “Dear Hiring Committee,” enough said.

    Mention some things that relate directly to the company you are applying to – the names of their artists, your passion about what it is they do, how you became interested in music, etc.

    Please for the love of sweet God above DON’T write any of the following lines:

    “I have excellent communication skills.”

    “I have loved music for as long as I can remember…”

    “I believe I am the perfect match for your company (unless you say WHY).”

    “My extensive background in music…” OK, if you are under the age of 25 you DON’T have an extensive background (an extensive background is 10 years or more).

    DO write the following lines (if they are not the truth of course don’t write these):

    “I have been a fan of (artist’s name this company works with here) since (year/concert you attended, etc.).”

    “I have always wanted to learn about (company’s specialty here) and a position at your company would provide me just that opportunity.”

    “I have (#) of friends on (Twitter/Facebook/Last FM/any other relevant social networking site here”

    If you are applying to a digital marketing or PR firm highlight how many online friends you have on social networking sites, or if you use Tumblr or blog. This could be your golden ticket! Everyone loves a well-connected intern. It’s a huge asset!

    “I have already had some experience with (booking, promoting, etc), and would love to expand on what I have already learned at (school, from volunteering etc.).”

    Step 7: Go Old School – Snail Mail or Fax

    Most of these websites give you an interface to go through and you submit your resume straight to them via the Internet. Definitely do this and IN ADDITION if you can fax or mail in your resume, I highly recommend you do this as well, it’s so old school it’s now new!

    Step 8: Treat Each Resume Like a Lost Puppy

    Back to my 100 candidates from this past month – Two people called to follow up to see if I had received their resumes! This is mystifying.

    So – a few days after you send the resume, call to follow up! This is a great way to stand out in the crowd because no one else is following up.

    Don’t get an answer?  try @’ing the company or executive you want to reach via Twitter or send them a message on Facebook.

    Even if the website says “don’t call us, we’ll call you” you should call and politely ask if your resume was received because 100% of everyone I know in the music business is so busy that they don’t have time to always follow up with the deluge of resumes. This could be a missed opportunity to land a job!

    Step 9: Kill It at Your Interview

    So, you followed my steps and you got an interview set up? Wonderful!

    If you get three or four interviews, go to the one that you are least interested in FIRST to sharpen your interview skills.

    TIP: ON THE DAY OF: Call first to confirm your interview. It’s professional and a great way to stand out.

    Be 5 minutes early (not more), and remember the music business is casual so a three-piece suit is highly discouraged. I suggest business casual.

    Bring a book or a magazine in case you have to wait.  Don’t talk on you mobile phone or text while you wait!

    Bring two copies of your resume, cover letter, and recommendation letter as well as some writing samples (if applicable – even if it’s a paper you wrote about the music business). This is interesting and it sets you apart again!

    Don’t be afraid to ask questions like “What does a typical internship encompass here?” or “Do you have some specific projects I might be working on?”

    With most internship interviews I do, I always have to ask: Do you have any questions? And it always leaves a weird taste in my mouth if they have none – even if you ask how many days the company is expecting interns to work and what the hours would be. At least you are establishing a dialog! I suggest preparing 2-3 in-depth questions that you have researched by looking online at this specific company and come prepared!

    MORE TIPS:The smaller the company, the more work you will probably end up doing and the more experience you will gain – it’s just the nature of the beast.

    If you don’t like the person that interviews you, or the vibe at the company don’t take the job – trust your instincts!

    Don’t ask if the internship will turn into a paid position. You are in charge of being the most awesome intern that they ever had. This will lead to a job but first you have to prove yourself!

    Bonus Step 10: Always Follow Up!!!

    Even if you HATED the interview, ALWAYS send a thank you email to follow up (or better yet a CARD!) to say thanks for taking the time to interview me! If you really enjoyed the interview, SAY SO and WHY. And don’t be afraid to say “after meeting you I am even more convinced that I would like to work with you!” Flattery will get you (almost everywhere).

    I hope that these tips turn into a winning internship experience, and I would love to hear from you and find out how this guide worked for you –please post here.

    Ariel Hyatt in Los Angeles on 04/24/14

    Ariel Hyatt in Princeton Public Library on 03/29/14

    How Emotional Connections Are the Backbone of Every Fan Tribe

    How Emotional Connections Are the Backbone of Every Fan Tribe

    two persons with gears. the concept of logical and associative thinking man

    Social media creates the appearance that each of your fans holds the same weight, be it one ‘like’, one ‘follow’, or one ‘friend’. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

    Your fans are all different.

    The fact is that you will run into a wide range of fans; some of whom are passively connected to you online but may not have actually heard you, meanwhile others will be dedicated super fans who actively evangelize your music to others. Of course, most of your fans will fall somewhere in between these two extremes.

    However, no matter how small the percentage of your fan base that could be considered super fans, these are your true money makers and thus should be the focal point of a majority of your time and attention.

    Super fans are the ones who will not just evangelize your music, but will spend the most money- on downloads, physical albums, tickets and mercy.

    So what makes super fans so special?

    An emotional connection has been established.

    These fans more than just like your music. They have a connection to you, your music, and/ or even the fan base that is so strong that it is a part of them.

    The more emotionally connected fans you have, the more money you will make both in the short-term and the long-term. The following are 4 ways that you can use to not only cater to existing super fans, but can actually help you to create MORE emotionally connected fans.


    Before the internet, newsletters were used as a way to connect a world-wide community of fans. However, even now with the existence of social networks, newsletters are a personal and direct interaction that can connect not just you to your fans, but your fans to each other.

    Two excellent examples of community newsletters are the Grateful Dead’s ‘Almanac’ and Phish’s ‘Doniac Schvice’. What made these newsletters work so well is that they covered more than the music; they covered the scene as a whole.

    The ‘Almanac’, typically spanning 5 or 6 pages in length, spent much of the first few pages showcasing original (and exclusive!!) artwork, discussing side projects and music as a whole that the community would be interested in, as well as updating the community about the charitable foundations started by band members (more on sharing passions below). The second half would be band news, announcements of upcoming tours or album releases and finally, mail order music/ merch and tickets.

    Phish’s Doniac Schvice was very similar to the Grateful Dead’s Almanac, offering up news and updates of both band and community related events.

    However the Doniac Schvice had much more direct band involvement, including Mike’s Corner and Fish’s Forum, two reoccurring and often hysterical op-ed pieces written by bassist Mike Gordon and drummer Jon Fishman. There were also ‘Mike Replies’ where Mike Gordon would publicly reply to fan letters.

    By focusing on the community, the fans who received the newsletter were becoming emotionally connected to the scene; not just the music, but the band members and even the fans. If you were in the community, you were apart of something bigger than yourself and that meant something.

    Video Tour Diary

    A concert is more than just music. It is an event. An experience.

    A well-delivered concert experience is THE best way to connect with your fans on an emotional level. Because of this, video tour diaries are an extremely effective way to increase that emotional connected established through the concert experience, by giving the attendee’s a deeper look into the behind the scenes happenings before, during and after the concert. Ultimately this gives attendees the chance to grab on to, and re-live the event any time they want to.

    The idea of a video tour diary has become quite popular in the emerging hip-hop world, as many of these upcoming artists give their music away for free through mixtapes and focus on making money from the live show; a business model similar to that made famous by the Grateful Dead and Phish.

    These videos not only act as a way to offer additional value to those who attended the event, increasing the emotional connection within, but can function as an emotional marketing tool as well. Giving your fan base the opportunity to take a sneak peek of your recent live shows is a fantastic way to drive further ticket sales…

    Always remember that a concert is more than just the music. It is an event. If you can convey that your shows are a must-see experience, then you’ve already begun to establish an emotional connection with fans before they’ve even bought the ticket.

    Share Passions Outside Of Music

    Yes you are a musician, and yes your fans are so because of your music. But there is no reason the connection between you and your fans needs to end with the music. By sharing more of your passions with your fan base, you are creating an opportunity to greatly strengthen the emotional connection you have with fans who are not only passionate about your music, but these outside passions as well. This is how a community of super fans is born.

    This is niche marketing at its finest. Since a niche is a very specific, distinct segment of a market, those who support and act from within are much more likely to be passionate about it than someone who supports a broad topic or market. As a rule of thumb, as a market becomes more niche focused, the support from within becomes more passion based.

    A great example of sharing passions outside of music, and leveraging it to strengthen the emotional connection TO the music is Farm Aid. Started by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Melloncamp in 1975, this now annual concert was created as a way to spread the awareness of the loss of family farms and to raise funds that help keep farm families on their land.

    Over 30 years later, Farm Aid is still taking place every year with Willie Nelson in particular acting as the soundtrack to the movement.

    Name Your Fans

    This is THE first step to creating a tribe, which is the most ultimate form of emotionally connected fan base you could have. This gives your fans away of identifying themselves as apart of a group, and ultimately this creates insiders and outsiders which helps to strengthen the loyalty of those within.

    Again Phish and the Grateful Dead did this, with their ‘tribes’ being dubbed Phish Heads and Dead Heads respectively. Being a Phish or Dead Head meant something more than just being a casual fan – it meant that you were a respected piece of a larger community and brought along with it a sense of belonging.

    Today, this has been translated to other genres though still holds the exact same precedence where the fans within the tribe are a welcomed member of a community. Like her or not, Lady Gaga has done an incredible job labeling her fans as her ‘Little Monsters’.

    Even emerging hip-hop artists are starting to understand the power of naming the fan base, such as CT-based Chris Webby, whose ‘Ninjas’ (Webby is an avid Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan) have lead to the over 13 Million youtube views. His latest mixtape  garnered over 23,000 downloads in under 24 hours.

    By giving fans a name and giving them a sense of belonging, loyalty to the community goes through the roof, leading to stronger long-term sales than you could ever have other wise. The fans within these tribes are the ones who look for every opportunity to buy a new release, ticket or t-shirt, are the first to share a new music video (or tour video above, wink-wink), and are THE best asset you can have as you continue to build upon your fan base.

    How Have YOU Created An Emotional Connection To Your Fans?

    All emerging musicians can benefit from having established emotional connections between themselves and their fans. Please leave any suggestions, ideas or feedback about how YOU have managed to make this work below in the form of a comment!

    Headcount Staffer Injured in SXSW Tragedy – Your Help Needed to NOW!

    Headcount Staffer Injured in SXSW Tragedy – Your Help Needed to NOW!

    Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 3.12.43 PM

    HeadCount’s Director of Artist Relations, Jane Henderson, was injured in the incident at SXSW that you may have already heard about on the news. Jane was at SXSW mediating a panel for HeadCount about musicians and the Affordable Care Act. Jane worked tirelessly at the event to engage as many people as possible.

    Unfortunately, the festival took a tragic turn Wednesday night. Jane was in the back of a taxi cab that was hit by the hit-and-run driver. She has several broken vertebrae. The good news is that there is no injury to her spinal cord and nothing is life threatening. Her healing process will be long.

    Jane is a beloved member of the HeadCount Family and obviously this is very shocking. Her friends at HeadCount have started a fundraising page to help with extraneous expenses such as medical expenses not covered by her health insurance, travel costs for her family to stay in Austin until Jane is well enough to travel back to New York as well as the day to day expenses like NYC rent and transportation to and from physical therapy, and whatever else that may arise as a result of this accident.

    We’ve Got Jane’s Back – Please Help Jane NOW!

    Along with showing your support by contributing to the fundraising page, please share this news using the following:

    SXSW 2014 – Website Demolition Derby Recap

    SXSW 2014 – Website Demolition Derby Recap

    Yesterday was the day that the self-proclaimed ‘best panel EVER’ wrapped up at SXSW: Website Demolition Derby featuring David Dufresne, Emily White, Brian Felsen, Michael Schneider, and yours truly.

    The panel was a fun hour of informal dialogue between the panelists and audience members who volunteered to have their websites critiqued. The variety in the submissions provided a perfect mix that allowed us panelists to provide advice to those of all shapes and sizes to improve their website for each unique case. Whether the subject was an artist, session player, blogger, or entertainment company, the crowd certainly got a solid hour of practical and candid advice.

    If you were unable to attend SXSW, or got lost on the 1,001 other events going on throughout the day, here is a brief overview of just a few of the topics covered:


    It’s important to know that not all websites fit under one umbrella. While many of our clients for our respective companies look to us to attain fans for their music or their blog, attaining fans may not be the #1 priority if you are a session player looking for work. The important thing to note about websites is that you must know what resources are most relevant to your particular case. A session player’s LinkedIn profile may be a high priority, whereas a band probably won’t have one at all. One piece of advice is to reference somebody who you compare yourself to, and note what they emphasize on their site.

    Speaking of Social Media Links…


    Social Media Links

    Are you actively posting on all of these social media sites? When was the last time you posted on Google+? Has anyone interacted with your MySpace page lately? The only sites that should be included in this list are the ones that you actively maintain. Otherwise, you are driving fans to sites that are either barren, or dead. Not a good look for you!


    All artists are selling their music digitally through distributors like CD Baby, TuneCore, The Orchard, etc. We don’t need to see all of the stores which we can buy your music from. We already assume that it’s there. The best way to sell your music is to embed a BandCamp page on your website, or another direct-to-fan platform where you can a) retain traffic on your website, b) get an email address for your mailing list, and c) retain 100% of your sale, while skipping the 30% distribution fee.


    Your website should be resourceful for all who visit your site. For the new visitor, a music player in the top left is a great place to allow them to hear your music for the first time. Why the top-left? View this website heat-map (via

    Heat Map

    The red area is where the visitor’s eyes gravitate when they visit a website, which makes perfect sense if you think about reading a page from top-down, left to right. The lesson here is that you’re primary call-to-action should be in the top-left region of your site.


    Have you ever looked at your website on someone else’s browser? Are placeholders misaligned or out of place? Are images viewed completely out of context? Depending on the aspect ratio of the visitor’s computer screen, and the size of their browser window, your website may look very different than what you see. Make sure you test your website in multiple scenarios, and across several browsers to make sure that your HTML is accepted across all platforms.


    The user interface on your smartphone or tablet should make the visitor’s experience seamless and easy to navigate. Limiting the user’s need to pinch to zoom in to read your text or to navigate the page is a crucial element to your mobile site. Also, DO NOT USE FLASH! Flash does not work on iOS devices, so if the user is on an iPhone or iPad, they won’t see your media. HTML5 should be used wide-spread across your website.

    We crammed in a lot of information on this panel, and we came across some very interesting cases and were asked some great questions from our audience. We had a blast doing this panel, and we want to thank everyone who came out and participated, and volunteered to put their websites on display for us to work with. I’d also like to thank SXSW and David Dufresne for being kick-ass hosts and for allowing me the opportunity to speak on this amazing panel and join an amazing group of people on this stage.

    Cyber PR’s 2014 SXSW Survival Guide

    Cyber PR’s 2014 SXSW Survival Guide

    Having attended every SXSW for the last 17 years, I’ve seen it all. The following are some tips on how to successfully navigate your through the most overwhelming music conference of them all.

    Envision What You Want Before You Arrive

    My first bit of advice: Arrive prepared. Know who will be attending and create some goals before you get there.

    Attend at Least One Music Conference Each Year

    I believe all serious musicians should make it part of their job to attend at least one conference a year.  They can be expensive to get to, but think abut it this way: music lessons and equipment were at one time expensive, and those things are also vital for your career. Conferences are the best place to meet people who work in and around the music industry, and conferences are a relaxed environment to connect with people in the industry who can change the course of your career.

    Austin, Texas is a wonderful city, and its distractions are many. Keep in mind that this is not a vacation. It’s a work-related learning experience. With a little planning and foresight, you can have a million-dollar conference.

    Before You Go, Get Connected!

    SXSW Social Media:


    Bring Business Cards & Postcards

    Yes, you should have a business card, and your card should not just have your name and number.  It should have good information about what you or your band sounds like (your pitch) , your Twitter handle, Facebook URLS, and links to any other places people might be able to find you online. A photo of you or a band logo would also be highly recommended.

    MooCards makes excellent business cards that are highly customizable, very inexpensive and look great! My whole team used the Facebook Cards MooCards which pulls your information from Facebook and uses the image you have in your Timeline banner as the background for the card.

    Don’t Haul A Ton Of CDs

    I do not recommend bringing a lot of CDs. People are overwhelmed with free CDs, and they won’t want to carry them home. It’s better to get people’s business cards and mail them a CD, or (better yet!) send your music digitally through Bandcamp or Soundcloud as a follow-up after you get home.

    Talk To Strangers

    Don’t be scared to take risks and meet people. Conferences are friendly places.  Just walk right up and ask “So, what brings you here?” You’ll have a new BFF in no time.

    Attend Panels – You Will Learn Something

    It’s tempting to blow the panels off and hit all of the free day parties, but I encourage you to make an effort to sit in on at least one or two panels per day. Choose any topic that interests you, and take notes.

    Get Mentored!

    Most conferences have amazing mentoring sessions where you can sign up to have one-on-one face time with the industry peeps. Some of the most important people in the music business will be sitting there ready to meet with you.

    When you do go to a one-on-one mentoring panel, be prepared to meet these people. Make sure that you have done your research, and have specific questions to ask them.

    Follow Up!

    The moment you get home, make sure to send thank you notes or e-mails. Follow up with every single person that you met. If appropriate, add them to your e-mail list. Never send your pitch or talk about business in the initial e-mail. Get people to respond to your follow up by just being friendly. If you do not follow up, your trip and hard work will have been a waste of your time. So, don’t rip yourself off here!

    Meet the Cyber PR® Team at SXSW 2014!

    I unfortunately won’t be down in Austin for this year’s festivities, but Andrew Salmon, my Campaign Manager will be there and would love to meet up with you!

    Andrew will be speaking on a panel with David Dufresne (Bandzoogle), Emily White (Whitesmith Ent.), Brian Felsen (formerly of CD Baby/ HostBaby) and Michael Schneider (Urturn):

    Panel: Website Demolition Derby
    Wednesday, March 12
    3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
    Room: Austin Convention Center Ballroom E


    Connect with Andrew on Twitter!

    How to Expand Your Awareness from a Local to National Music Market

    How to Expand Your Awareness from a Local to National Music Market


    As a band or artist it’s hugely important to build up a local fan base, get a following, and get the name out. But once this is achieved, some artists may find it hard to branch out of their local area to become noticed nationally. It’s likely to be true that there are bands/artists out there with bags of potential and talent that are stuck in their local areas with no knowledge of how to get out. Here are a few DIY tips on how to get out there:


    Do your research: look up different cities, the popular small venues and the promoters within. Once you have this information, there is knowledge of who to contact to get a gig. It is likely that if you are from another city that you won’t be offered the best slot of the night… Be patient with this, the promoter may not have heard of you, and may be sceptical about ticket sales so they’re giving you a fair chance, and hey… if you’re good, you’ll probably be invited back with a better slot. Promoters aren’t only useful for gaining a slot at one of their venues, but they also have a good contact list of the city of which they work. If you’re impressive, there’s no doubt that the promoter will spread the word and help you branch out around the area.

    Make the most of the trip

    When travelling to another city to play a show, make the most of the trip and get yourself heard more than once! Perhaps arrange another show (depending on promoter terms) but there are other avenues to go down other than booking a show at another venue… Play an acoustic set in a record store, busk in the city centre with some CD’s ready to hand out, be imaginative! It may also be useful to think about taking along some merchandise, such as CD’s, badges/stickers and t-shirts etc. This will look professional and make people in the city remember you whilst also making some money!

    There are other ways to get your voice heard in the city you’re heading to, again linking back to Research, find all the local radio stations and contact about a possible interview or play of your song whilst you’re in the city. This is great promotion for your act, people become aware of whom you are and may even come down to your show, pleasing the promoter too! The harder you work and the more promotion made, the more the city will want you back after your show. Engage with the audience and make them excited about your music!

    Strong social media presence

    Get your act a strong online presence by existing on as many social media platforms as you can (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, MySpace Vine etc.) and show that you are excited to be playing the city you’re heading to. This will create a good image for your act as well as pleasing the promoter by pushing the show. If the promoter notices the effort put in to promoting the show, even if there is a low turn out they will consider you again. Be easy to work with – be polite, work hard and put in the effort! They will no doubt invite you back if so.

    A strong social media presence will also give your new fans from the city a place to find you and keep updated. It keeps them interested, engaged and when you return they will probably be there. The bigger your online fan base, the bigger your act in popularity, so this will be hugely effective in continuing to branch out nationally. In this digital age its important to exist on as many online platforms as possible, if people are looking for your music or happen to come across you, they may tell their friends and help promote you further!

    Be good! Be confident!

    This may seem a little blunt and easier than it sounds, but the simple fact of the matter is you must be good. Be confident in your own material, if you feel it needs more time to nurture, stay in the practise room for a bit longer and then hit the other cities. Use your local town as a place to showcase yourself but at the same time a free practise to get honest criticism from people to help you improve. After all, if you’re not confident in your own material then who else will be? Wait until the right time; don’t show off your mistakes as sometimes you may have only one chance. When the time is right, contact the promoters and confirm your availability for as soon as possible. Get out there, show yourself off, and most importantly: have fun!

    Music Gateway_Icon

    This article has been written by Jamie Ford from Music Gateway – Connecting music professionals globally through targeted project opportunities.

    Musicians: Free Health Care Consultations Available Now!

    Musicians: Free Health Care Consultations Available Now!

    HeadCountAre you and your team set up with ObamaCare yet?

    Sure, it’s something we’ve been talking about ever since the launch of the initially problematic website. However, if you are a musician or represent musicians, DO NOT stop reading. It could end up costing you.

    For musicians, it’s a matter of getting in touch with the right people, asking the right questions, and getting the right advice to avoid the unnecessary expense. Enter:

    The organization has been running steady for 10 years, and started out as a platform to help register voters for the 2004 presidential election. Since then, they have successfully organized many socially conscious initiatives such as #SoundOff, a Twitter platform that allows anyone to tweet directly at Congress and create an open dialogue with lawmakers, nationally-broadcasted PSAs, and much more. Simply put, their mission is to promote participation and democracy through music.

    “It’s all about keeping people informed, and harnessing the power of musicians,” co-chair Andy Bernstein states, who realizes the reach and the influence that musicians possess. It is this power that has helped the organization register over 300,000, and achieve much more.

    With every cog of the industry represented in its board of directors, from artists, to managers, to promoters, to booking agents, to venues, to radio stations, multinational corporations and beyond, the resources at hand have helped propel the initiatives of this organization for well over a decade, and Health Care is next on the docket.


    PHONE: (919) 264-0418
    HOURS OF OPERATION: 24 hours! has set up a hotline where anyone can call to get more information about the necessary steps needed to ensure coverage without penalty. Did you know that if you don’t have coverage before March 31st, you could get fined? It could be substantial depending on your particular situation, so it’s best to try to avoid any surprises.

    Why is it best to contact HeadCount as opposed to just doing it yourself? You may not know what regulations are in place that might affect your situation as an artist, manager, promoter, etc. Simply getting on the phone with HeadCount will give you the necessary information and direct you to other organizations called “Navigators” who are trained by the government to assist you in making sure that your health care requirements are met. This is a resource that the government has implemented for your sake, and it’s HeadCount’s mission to inform and put people in touch with these resources.

    Of course, for anyone who still suffers from, sorting out your health care needs over the phone will help you avoid this step.

    If you’re heading to SXSW: you can visit the workshop below to get one-on-one guidance regarding how to insure your band, whether or not you’ll have interstate coverage, and how to navigate this new Health Insurance Marketplace.

    Artists + the Affordable Care Act: Get Answers, Get Covered
    Thursday 3/13, 3:30p-6p
    Austin Convention Center Room 8BC
    Open to badge holders and artist wristband holders

    Ariel Hyatt in Brooklyn, NY on 03/01/14

    Ariel Hyatt in Columbia, SC on 06/16/14

    7 Ways to Show Love To Your Fan Community

    7 Ways to Show Love To Your Fan Community


    Happy Valentines Day! While often reserved for lovers, V-Day is a great opportunity to share love of all kinds. Through social media, this love could be shared by spotlighting someone you look up to, reciprocating support through a #FollowFriday tweet, blogging about someone who’s done great work, etc.

    This year, we’ve asked 7 friends to share their experience with showing love (or being shown love) through social media to help you come up with ways you feel most appropriately display the love you have for your own fan community.

    Emily WhiteEmily White (@emwizzle)
    Whitesmith Entertainment, Readymade Records & Dreamfuel

    The best way to share social media love is to consistently get back to as many if not all fans as you can. Fans want to be heard and are more likely to come back if you acknowledge them. Overloaded and/or have too many fans to respond to yourself? Get an eager intern or friend or family member to help you in making sure the info is getting to each fan who asks something, and tag it [Team “Artist’s Name”] to keep your posts authentic and ensure no one is posting as you. Don’t just save it up for Valentine’s Day, share the love 365 days a year!

    Megan MarcumMegan Marcum (@onstagesuccess)
    Event Planner, Tom Jackson Productions

    I always try to leave a meaningful comment or reply if possible. I want people to believe that they matter to us! For example if someone is brave enough to post a ‘selfie’ or photo of themselves I’m sure to comment on their true beauty with a genuine compliment. Or if someone replies to a post I will try to engage with them further, have an actual conversation about the topic.

    b56eac6194ddaa3eda6884576850d5f8Jay Frank (@futurehitdna)
    FuturehitDNA, Dig Sin

    Always share love on social posts. Lots of data has shown that posts written in negative tones do worse than ones with positive tones. When you release positive energy to your fans, they usually respond in kind. Always reread before posting and make sure you are framing it as positively as you can.

    4Eric Weiner (@thewildhoneypie)
    The Wild Honey Pie

    Oh, good old Valentine’s day! While I will personally be taking my lady out for a meal of aphrodisiacs, The Wild Honey Pie will have a date with any readers that decide to visit the site that evening instead of getting freaky. You asked for a love moment we had on social networks, it really does happen all the time. What’s most amazing about Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and beyond is that anyone can connect with anyone. The most rewarding moments we are ever able to have is when a reader or band thanks us. It really does mean the world to us when someone wants to tell us the music they discovered on our site or in our videos, mostly because we don’t have a store, we don’t get to interact in person with our readers and viewers (actually, that’s not completely true but we can only throw a limited number of events a year). Happy Valentine’s day everyone!

    unnamedJo-Na A. Williams, Esq (@jwilliamsesq)
    J.A. Williams Law – The Artist Empowerment Firm

    Social Media is a huge part of my life but also my business and it’s a way that truly connects us all. I share lots of love through social media by posting content that I think musicians would love about being an entrepreneur, articles that will help them, or people I believe to be inspiring along their path. To me connecting is all about giving. Taking time out of your life to give to someone else is the greatest love that you can share. If we did this more in society we would definitely have a better world and I truly believe that social media is vehicle to imagine and create that which we want to see. – Jo-Na Williams, Esq.

    madalyn_sklarMadalyn Sklar (@madalynsklar)

    As the leader of, a large online organization promoting, supporting & empowering women in music, part of my mission is sharing the love for others 24/7/365 and educating people how to do it for themselves. There are lots of ways to share the love. One of my favorites is posting a link that sends people to a promotional, pre-populated tweet. I do all the work ahead of time so all someone has to do is click a link which opens up a tweet that they then share. This tweet promotes me or anything that I want to promote. This makes it super fun and easy for them to tweet and share in the love.

    mindy-about-imageMindy Gledhill (@mindygledhill)
    Indie Singer/ Songwriter

    The day I launched my PledgeMusic campaign, I was also in the thick of recording my new album. I was feeling particularly vulnerable and several things had gone awry with my launch day. I was just going in the sound booth to record my first vocal of the album when I got a notice that a fan had made a very generous donation to the campaign. I posted a picture to Instagram of me at the vocal mic in the sound booth and dedicated my first vocal of the album to him. He commented on the photo and told me that he keeps bees and had been playing my music to one of his hives. I replied and said: “You know what makes this even more awesome? The name of the song I just dedicated to you is called ‘Honey.'” Now, almost one year later, this fan who donated to my PledgeMusic campaign is now my manager.

    Stay Topical and Thematic with YOUR Content – Download the Cyber PR Content Topic Calendar here:

    5 Time Management Tactics Every Musician Must Know

    5 Time Management Tactics Every Musician Must Know


    The discussion of the intersection between independent musician and entrepreneur is not a new one. Both are responsible for shaping their own careers, building their own teams, setting their own goals and working towards the proper milestones that will turn dreams into reality.

    Musicians and entrepreneurs also suffer from a similar issue: time management.

    And rightfully so… whether you are a solo artist working on your own, or have a band that you can share the responsibilities with, the amount of time it takes to get through the never-ending task-load can very quickly surpass the number of hours in a day, week or year.

    If you want to make a business out of your music, the act of making the music is just one small part of the puzzle:

    • Recording
    • Marketing
    • Booking
    • Touring
    • Community Management
    • Content Creation
    • Email/ Communication
    • Analysis
    • Meetings

    And let’s not forget that just because you are a musician doesn’t mean you don’t have outside obligations that need to be fulfilled:

    • Family
    • Friends
    • Exercising
    • Running Errands
    • Sleep!

    Believe it or not, February is National Time Management Month. That’s right… we all need help with this so badly that an entire month of the year was dedicated to focusing our efforts on doing it more effectively. So what better way to kick off the blog this month by diving into ways that you can effectively manage your time.

    Below are 5 tactics that have been an immense help for me personally to be highly effective with my own time management.

    Planning is the Key

    Mapping out your plan isn’t just essential, it is literally the answer to effective time management. It is the foundation with which the rest of your time management strategies rely on, so let’s discuss this one first.

    Whether it is at the top of the year, quarter, month, week or day, you should have a plan of attack.

    This plan should includes:

    Goals and deadlines

    Comprehensive list of tasks that are required of you on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

    Content schedule for social media content (tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, blog posts, newsletters, etc.), new music releases, show dates, etc.

    For the entire year of 2014, we are going to be giving our mailing list monthly calendars with all of the monthly and daily holidays/ events on them (such as National Time Management Month!) to help making the content creation and scheduling even easier. Sign up to our newsletter to take advantage of the 2014 Cyber PR Content Topic Calendar.


    It’s important to understand that not all of your tasks hold the same weight. By treating all of your tasks as equally important, you are adding unnecessary stress to your day because while you work on one task, you will naturally feel as though there is something else you need to be doing or checking.

    Last year I read a book by Brian Tracy called Eat that Frog! and it was transformational. The concept is very simple: take a look at all of the tasks you have to do – determine which tasks are most aligned with your goals and do those tasks first.

    Whether these are daily tasks that are required of you that you’ll do when you wake up, or weekly tasks that you’ll handle as soon as you dive in on Monday morning, by accomplishing the most important tasks first, you are removing the stress and resistance of handling other tasks later on because you know you’ve already handle the things that are most critical.

    Carve Out Time for Total Focus

    In a recent interview for NPR, Clifford Nass, a communications professor at Standford studied the contrary effects of multitasking vs. mono tasking:

    “. . . We have scales that allow us to divide up people into people who multitask all the time and people who rarely do, and the differences are remarkable. People who multitask all the time can’t filter out irrelevancy. They can’t manage a working memory. They’re chronically distracted.”

    I found myself becoming a slave to my email inbox. I was not only making it a priority (a big mistake!) over other tasks, but I was constantly checking it while doing other things, which meant that my focus on any other task was consistently being interrupted.

    By holding off on checking my inbox, and carving out time for just email, I was able to get through in inbox in an hour or so, instead of the 3 that it would take me checking it off-and-on throughout the day. This same tactic can be used for social media engagement, blog reading / writing, music studies or music writing, etc.

    Automation Strategy

    There are many small tasks that we have in our daily lives that we simply must do to maintain our vision, presence, brand, schedule, etc. Most of these small tasks, such as sharing your most recent blog post to Facebook and Twitter, are harmless on their own, but when added up together can take a significant amount of time out of your day, and a significant amount of focus away from your prioritized task list.

    Enter If This Than That (IFTTT). This platform allows you to batch and automate tasks through a very simple process of connecting your digital channels (at time of writing there are 79 channels available for you to connect) and answering the simple question: If ___ Than ___.

    In other words, If [a new blog is published to my WordPress blog], Than [share the link on my Facebook Fan Page].

    On Hypebot, Clyde Smith recently published a fantastic walkthrough of IFTTT which I highly suggest you read and get yourself set up with.


    Are you a procrastinator? It’s okay to be honest here… most of us are. A few years ago I read a book called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield which focuses on the concepts of ’resistance’ in our daily lives and how that leads us to procrastinate from ‘going pro’, which is to approach our work from a professional and focused view.

    If you feel like you are procrastinating more than average, and it’s holding you back from accomplishing your goals, I strongly suggest you read this book. It will help you, as it did help me, to identify the areas of my life that were causing resistance and how to remove (or correct) those issues so I could work at going pro.

    It’s important to note that only a few short months after reading this book I was hired to become the new PR Director for Cyber PR®. This stuff works.

    Get the 2014 Cyber PR® Content Topic Calendar!

    For the entire year of 2014, we are going to be giving our mailing list monthly calendars with all of the monthly and daily holidays/ events on them (such as National Time Management Month!) to help making the content creation and scheduling even easier. Sign up to our newsletter to take advantage of the 2014 Cyber PR® Content Topic Calendar.

    Digital Media Deconstructed: Alex Blackwell of The Bridgemaker

    Digital Media Deconstructed: Alex Blackwell of The Bridgemaker


    Welcome to 2014’s first edition of Digital Media Deconstructed. DMD is a monthly interview series were we interview digital media makers who are thought-leaders or trend-setters (or both!) in a niche, sharing their experience with creating a consistent compelling content strategy, establishing their own signature story and developing a strong online brand.

    Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 11.21.11 AMThis month we’re speaking with Alex Blackwell (@thebridgemaker), who is the founder of The Bridgemaker, one of the most established Inspiration Blogs on the internet. Along with his blog, Alex is also the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Alex has done an amazing job not only using The Bridgemaker as a platform to establish his own thought-leadership in the Inspiration niche, but he has used his blog to create a platform to create a community of contributors who are all sharing their stories of inspiration and positivity.

    We began working with Alex several months ago for a client of ours who had herself become a source of inspiration for others after she recovered from an additional to crack cocaine and wrote a book about her journey. The Bridgemaker was a great opportunity for us to further connect our client to her niche through contributed content. Alex’s community continues to grow and we’re thankful that he has welcomed so many of our clients to take part in sharing their stories of inspiration, positivity and personal development.

    What interested you in wanting to start the BridgeMaker blog?

    I first became interested in personal development 10 years ago when it was clear I had to begin making changes in the choices I was making if my marriage was going to last. My journey started when I attended a personal transformation seminar that gave me the tools and awareness that the life I wanted was waiting for me – all I had to do was make the choice to go get it.

    A few years after reconciling my marriage, I was inspired to start The BridgeMaker as a way to inspire others to seek meaningful change in their lives, too.

    Is there a common theme to your blog posts?

    For the posts I write (which are published every Monday), I provide a properly-sized window into my life so readers will know they are not alone with their hopes, dreams and challenges. My posts explore the power of love and forgiveness; letting go of the past and celebrating the beauty found in life’s ordinary moments.

    What is your impression of the blog’s community? How have they taken to you and your site’s mission?

    The BridgeMaker community is awesome. They inspire me to continue sharing, growing and changing. I love replying to their comments as well as the interaction on Facebook and Twitter.

    For many bloggers, the measures for success come from online metrics and analytics. Do the measures for success go beyond that for you because of the nature of your site?

    Absolutely! For me, the most important measure of success can be found the emails I receive from readers who tell things like, “your post is just what I needed to read today,” or “you have inspired me to…” My focus is on providing honestly-written content. By doing that, the business side of my blog takes care of itself.

    What advice would you give for bloggers, be it inspiration-focused or not?

    Blogging is hard work. If you want to build a large blog and audience, be prepared to write every day and do things that builds your community like commenting on all other blogs and being involved with social media.

    In the six years I’ve been blogging, I’ve seen so many blogs come out strong, and then fade away. I think this happens because there may be an expectation that starting a blog can bring overnight success – it does not. But, if you are clear on your blog’s purpose, and have the passion to work hard, blogging can be very rewarding, both financially and personally.

    Where can people find you online?

    Create a Perfect Music Section for Your Website – Free eBook from Bandzoogle

    Create a Perfect Music Section for Your Website – Free eBook from Bandzoogle

    buildingwebsite_ebook-coverBandzoogle has released a free eBook called “Building Your Website: A Step­By­Step Guide for Bands and Musicians”. Whether you’re building a new website, or looking to improve your current one, the eBook offers tons of tips to help you make an effective website for your music.

    Download the free eBook from Bandzoogle here:

    Below is a sample chapter to give you an idea of what you’ll find inside the guide:


    Create a Perfect Music Section for Your Website

    When it comes to having music on your website, installing a site­wide music player or embedding a player on your Homepage just isn’t enough. Remember, your website is your main hub on the Internet. If there’s any place that fans should be able to find all of your music, lyrics, and some free downloads, it’s on your own website.

    Here are some essential elements to include on your Music page that will give fans a great experience, and help you to collect emails and generate sales in the process:

    Have a PLAY button

    It sounds obvious, but some band websites don’t have a single play button. Don’t simply post the image of your album cover with a purchase link. Let your fans preview all of your songs, including at least 2­3 full songs. Give them something more on your site than they would get anywhere else.

    Offer free digital downloads

    Speaking of giving more to your fans through your website, offer a free downloadable song on your Music page. Even better than that, offer free songs in exchange for their email address.

    Getting a fan’s email is worth much more than getting $0.99 for a song download. That way you can keep in touch with them over the long term to let them know about upcoming shows, new music, new merch, etc.

    Have digital downloads for sale
    Don’t simply send fans away to iTunes to buy your music. You should have ecommerce setup on your own site where you can offer digital downloads for sale. This way you get to keep the majority of the money, plus collect their email addresses.

    Have physical option(s)

    Don’t believe the hype, there is still a demand for physical merch. Pledgemusic revealed that 82% of the pledges are going to physical product. So besides digital music, you should also offer physical options for your albums.

    Include lyrics

    Did you know that people search for “lyrics” just as much as “sex” on Google? With digital downloads and streaming, gone are the CD liner notes with lyrics, but clearly fans still want to see the lyrics. So on your Music page, be sure to also include lyrics for your songs.

    Another option is to create a “Lyrics” submenu page for your Music section and post all of your lyrics there. Just make sure that fans can find them somewhere on your website.

    Add album info & descriptions

    Another important element to add to your music page is info about the albums/songs.

    When/where was it recorded? With who? What was the inspiration behind the creation of the album? How was the experience? Why are you excited about it?

    Give your fans some context. Let them read the story about your music while they’re listening to it, it might help inspire them to buy it.

    Offer other purchase options

    Although you should emphasize selling music through your own website, some people simply prefer to buy through stores that they’re familiar with. So at the bottom of your Music page, include links to stores like iTunes and Amazon, but don’t bring more attention to them than that.

    Again, your focus should be on selling directly to your fans and getting most of the money, and more importantly, collecting email addresses to stay in touch with those fans.

    Download the entire “Building Your Website” eBook from Bandzoogle here:

    12 Days of Monetization – A Summary of the 13-part Cyber PR Guest Post Series

    12 Days of Monetization – A Summary of the 13-part Cyber PR Guest Post Series


    I’m guessing that you may have already begun to make some resolutions for 2014 and I am also guessing that making more money from your art may have been on your list of resolutions… If this is the case (or if this sounds good to you) look no further! I reached out to some of my favorite colleagues in the business and I asked them to contribute an article that talks about “making money from your music” I left it fairly open and their responses are FANTASTIC! Here is a list of the topics and each one is a full length article.

    Good luck in 2014! We can’t wait to see what you accomplish.

    Ariel & Team Cyber PR

    Day 1: 60 Do’s and Don’ts of Monetizing Your Life – Julie Flanders

    This article was contributed by Julie Flanders, Achievement Expert and Creative Success CoachRecording artist and lyricist for October Project, a major–label turned independent artist with a worldwide following. Julie delves into the Do’s & Don’ts of monetizing your music.

    Day 2: The Power of Positivity – Nikki Loy

    Our super talented singer-songwriter friend Nikki Loy gives us insight into how to manifest good thoughts into real outcomes. She discusses how changing the way you think can change the outcome of what happens to you.

    Day 3:Making Money from Live Shows – John Taglieri

    Indie artist John Taglieri has released 11 albums, selling over 25,000 units, owns his own record label, publishing company, and studio, but 70% of his income comes from live touring. In this article, he discusses how and why you should focus on your live shows.

    Day 4: How to Get People to Actually Buy Your Music – Debra Russell

    Debra Russell, speaker and founder of Artist’s Edge, talks about the best ways to sell your music in the new digital age. She discusses the advantage of social media and making real, genuine connections with your true fans.

    Day 5: Selling Direct-to-fan via WordPress – Ross Barber

    Ross Barber is a web designer who runs Electric Kiwi, a web design company that works primarily with artists in the music industry. He teaches you how to leverage your WordPress website to sell your music directly to your fans.

    Day 6: 12 Ways to Make Money from YouTube – Jay Frank

    Jay Frank, author and CEO of DigSin, gives you 12 ways to build an income stream from your underutilized YouTube channel.

    Day 7: YouTube Monetization Through Advertising – Bobby Owsinski

    Bobby Owsinski has written 23 books that have quickly become staples in music business programs in colleges around the world. Here, he gives us a few in-depth methods for monetizing your YouTube channel.

    Day 8: What Will it Really Take to Make Money from Music? – John Oszajca

    John Oszajca, singer-songwriter and founder of the Music Marketing Manifesto, talks about the popular “1000 fan” model and discusses how to start making a living once you get there.

    Day 9: Connecting with Fans Through Contests – Corie Kellman

    Our own Director of New Artist Relations Corie Kellman lets us in on how to connect with your fans through contests! Contests engage the fans and bring them together—everything you need to know here in this article.

    Day 10: 4 Alternative Avenues to Monetize Your Music – Michael Shoup

    Cyber PR friend and guide Michael Shoup offers up 4 alternative avenues to monetize your music; house concerts, office concerts, becoming an expert, non-tv syncs and licenses.

    Day 11: Investing In Yourselves – Peggy Dold

    In this inspirational article by Peggy Dold, you will learn the underappreciated value of investing in yourself, putting in the necessary time, money, and education to really achieve the goals you need.

    Day 12: 5 Super Simple Steps to Make Money at Your Next Show – Madalyn Sklar

    Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach and social media strategist who founded In this article, she teaches you five simple steps to make money at your next live show.

    Bonus Day! It’s 2014. Time To Stop Starving and Start Living Empowered! – Jo-Ná A. Williams

    Jo-Na Williams good friend of team Cyber PR + music entertainment lawyer lets us in on the top 5 ways to be unstoppable in 2014: Have amazing music, have an incredible brand, craft a business foundation, have a team, understand and implement marketing.

    Ariel Hyatt in New York, NY on 01/21/14

    12 Days of Monetization: It’s 2014. Time To Stop Starving and Start Living Empowered! – Jo-Ná A. Williams [BONUS]

    12 Days of Monetization: It’s 2014. Time To Stop Starving and Start Living Empowered! – Jo-Ná A. Williams [BONUS]

    Jo-Na AEG headshotIt’s 2014! Congratulations you made it. Yes I know 2013 was full. Lots of challenges and triumphs but the New Year provides a fresh start and more importantly, another year for you to get it right. You desire to finally get your music seen and appreciated by millions right? I mean, It’s great. You’ve spent hours on the production, you’ve saved money, perhaps had a crowd campaign to fund the album. Now, you’re ready to finally get it out there and appreciated by the millions of fans you know will love it. I get it…

    However, let me ask you one question? After you’ve created the art, what else have you done to ensure your career is on the right track for this new year? So many artist get caught up in the creation of the music (as they should be while they are creating) however, once it’s complete they have no plan, strategy, team or brand to ensure the music reaches the millions of followers they desire.

    Well, it’s time to stop approaching your career with an “I’ll get to it” mentality. All we have is the present moment and it’s time to stop wishing and start LIVING your dream on your terms. Yes it’s possible to be a superstar or simply create a sustainable career but it requires a new plan of attack.

    Here’s are the top 5 things that will help you create an unstoppable career in 2014:

    1) Have amazing music

    There is no way you can survive in the music industry without it. That means, great lyrics, great instrumentation, high quality sound and mastered to perfection. NO excuses. Remember last week? The only way you’re going to stand out is to create the type of music that does. Period.

    2) Have a incredible brand

    If you’re going to be successful in today’s time it’s no longer just about the music. You need to connect. We live in a society that’s controlled by the Internet and people expect transparency. Also, they don’t latch onto chaos. If you don’t have a brand that’s clear, consistent, authentic and connects, your career will not reach the heights you hope it will. It will actually become harder for you to make meaningful strides. Who are you? What do you stand for? What’s your music about? What’s authentic and incredible about you? Take some time this year to create answers to these questions. Your fans will not get behind chaos so creating a foundation for yourself will help you connect with your music and your fans better. It will also position you as an artist that has their S$#@ together!

    3) Craft a business foundation

    Yes I know you may feel like business makes you uncomfortable. You’re an artist right? Well, you’re going to have to get over it! There’s no way you can do this and be empowered around your career without embracing the fact that business is a huge part of it. You can no longer afford to stick your head in the sand when it comes to learning what business entity you should have or how to create a yearly plan. It’s not an option to be uneducated in this area so you need to invest in getting guidance to help you achieve an empowered stance on this part of your career. Being an entrepreneur is essential! Meet with a CPA to determine what’s the best entity for you based on your specific tax circumstances and your career expenses.


4) Have a team 

    I know you’ve heard this more than once. Yes, you need other people to help you execute your dream. However, you need to know how to manage them and in what order to add them to your team. Start with an assistant. Once you know how to effectively communicate and delegate (very important skills for a CEO) then you can start to add other team members as you grow and you have an increasing need for them. Starting with an assistant will allow you to focus on creating music, revenue and exposure generating activities verses setting up your hootsuite posts or sending emails.

5) Understand and Implement marketing

    Just like you need to know who you are and what you stand for, it’s just as important to know how to communicate that to your audience on a consistent basis. This means investing in a consistent look on your website and all your social media platforms and regularly sending emails to your audience. People are not going to follow you if they feel like you only come around when you want something from them. If you notice, the biggest stars feed you content all year before they ever ask you to buy an album, product or concert ticket. It’s all about what you can GIVE not what you can get. The “get” will come. 

    I know that sometimes all these tasks can feel like you’re climbing a brick wall, however it’s only as hard as you think it is. Our mindset will determine how far we go in our lives and if you have a mindset of “Yes it’s time let’s do this” you’re going to have an incredible career AND music. The entire package is what will allow you to snatch the crown from Queen Bey’s head. So what are you waiting for breakthrough in 2014!

    Jo-Ná A. Williams (@JWilliamsEsq), Esq. is a business attorney and coach for musicians. She can be reached at For a FREE copy of her guide “Blueprint: The Insider’s Guide to Empowering Your Career as an Artist and Ditching your 9-5 for Good” Sign up here:

    (Legal stuff: this article is for information purposes only. It does NOT replace the advice administered by a licensed attorney in YOUR state based on your specific situation. I know you wouldn’t assume I was your lawyer cause your mama “didn’t raise no fool.” But mine didn’t either, hence the disclaimer!)

    12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.

    12 Days of Monetization: 5 Super Simple Steps That Will Make You Money At Your Next Show – Madalyn Sklar [Day 12]

    12 Days of Monetization: 5 Super Simple Steps That Will Make You Money At Your Next Show – Madalyn Sklar [Day 12]


    You write great songs. You record killer albums. You put on the most kick ass show. Yet your merch sales fall flat. Over the years I have discovered…

    “The best way to make money at your show is by simply asking people to buy.” click to tweet

    I have spent the last 18 years booking, promoting, producing or having something to do with thousands of shows all over the world. My fascination with the psychology of selling is beyond conventional. I have learned an incredible amount over the years and am happy to share what I’ve learned from running the door and merch table at these shows.

    If you follow these 5 simple steps, you will make money at your next show.

    Step 1 – Greet Them At The Door

    I have rarely seen artists do this but the few that do make quite an impression with fans. The best way to get ahead in this business is networking. There is no better place to network than at the door of your show. For many years I ran a monthly GoGirls showcase event in Houston, TX. I had the coolest job, not just booking and promoting it but running the door and merch table too. I met amazing people. But I wasn’t the talent on stage. I was just the girl charging cover or selling merchandise. The ticket holder is there to see you. It would be so unexpected for them to witness you greeting people at the door. It shows you are approachable and way cool. And in return you will see more sales. Cha-ching!

    “Most fans have you on a pedestal. If you didn’t know this, better start believing it.” click to tweet

    For those who already know it, don’t be a dick about it. Treat your fans with respect and love. Always.

    Step 2 – Mention You Have Merch For Sale From The Stage

    I know this one sounds like a no brainer but I hardly see bands telling their audience they have merch for sale. They always tell me they forget to announce it from the stage. Keep in mind that the majority of people at your show are not mind readers so it’s helpful to let them know that not only do you have merch for sale but you’ll be happy to sign a CD or poster for them. The next time you’re on stage, mention you have a merch table with lots of fabulous stuff. The best way to ensure you don’t forget this is to incorporate it right into your set list. It’s super easy to do. When making your set list, pick two spots and mark it as “Merch Reminder” that way you will not forget once you hit the stage.

    Step 3 – Bundle Your Merchandise

    Fans like things simple. So why not make it easy for them to give you a $20 bill or swipe on your Square (for credit/debit cards) by bundling two things together. I’ve seen bands put together simple bundles that make the deal look too good to pass up. You can offer 2 CDs and a sticker for one low price or maybe a CD and a t-shirt combo. You can easily increase your earnings just by playing it smart with bundling. Get creative and have fun with it.

    Step 4 – Be At The Merch Table Immediately After Your Set

    After your show, get yourself to your merch table immediately. Run to it if you have to because this is your optimal selling time. Don’t piddle around on stage. Don’t head out back to smoke weed. I see far too many artists not capitalizing on this immense opportunity to make money. And don’t think you’re too good to hang out with your fans. Get someone to pack your guitar and mic while you go talk to your admirers. This shows you care about them. Think of yourself as a salesperson because if you want to make money, you just inherited the title. Be approachable. Smile. And listen. You do this, I guarantee you will make a huge impression on everyone including the people who own/run/bartend/book the place. And, cha-ching!, you will make more money.

    Step 5 – Walk Around And Ask For The Sale

    Whenever I counsel an artist, I ask them to do this and then report back to me. It never fails that they make money with this plan. After your set, when you’re done talking to people at the merch table, get some CDs in one hand and your mailing list in the other and go walk around and talk to people. Don’t be timid. Many artists tell me they are super shy off stage. If you would like to earn more money, you need to get bold after your set and go talk to people. In all my years running the merch table at GoGirls shows, I was fascinated with watching people. You’ll be amazed to know that there are always people in the audience who never leave their seat, many times too shy to walk over to the merch table. But if you walk up to them, strike up conversation, and simply ask them if they would like to join your mailing list and buy a CD, most times the answer will be a resounding “Yes.” Try it because you have nothing to lose. The worse thing that will happen is they say no. It’s no big deal. Smile and move on to the next person.

    If you have already implemented all five steps, my hat goes off to you. If not, give these a try and report back to me. I’d love to hear how it works out. Making money in the music business is always within your reach. Now go get some cha-ching!

    150x150This article was contributed by Madalyn Sklar (@MadalynSklar), Music Business Coach and Social Media Strategist, and the founder of (@GoGirlsMusic). She hosts the wildly popular GoGirls Twitter chat every Thursday 9pm ET at #ggchat. It’s open to all musicians and music industry professionals.

    12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.

    12 Days of Monetization: Invest In Yourselves – Peggy Dold [DAY 11]

    12 Days of Monetization: Invest In Yourselves – Peggy Dold [DAY 11]

    Hand pointing at viewerIt is no longer enough to simply focus on being a great musical artist.  In this new era of music business (and this IS a business) musicians cannot expect that a label will be there as either “the bank” or “the expertise.” 
    That said, with or without a label, marketing music still requires money and expertise. 
    Sometimes it is easy to forget that a developing artist monetizing his/her music is no different than any other small business owner figuring out how to make money from his/her business.  In short, it requires investment:  of capital, of resources, of time.  And not just in the music, but also in the business of music.
    Investing in oneself is putting in the proverbial 10,000 hours, not only in one’s music, but also in the education, in the financial investment, and in the dream team of experts (however small) to build a business that generates sufficient income for an artist to continue with his/her music and make a living from it. 
    All of these things require capital:  human capital, time capital, and financial capital, as well as a business plan, a strategic and tactical marketing plan, and a musician who must double as an educated business owner (together with a trusted team to activate the strategy.)
    The great news is that innovation and technology continue to give musicians access to resources and tools to both raise money and market music. 
    At the end of the day, however, the decision to have a successful business in music must come from musicians themselves.  This will require not only the vision, and but also the will and commitment to “do what it takes” to create an infrastructure and to figure out how to fund it.
    To approach music without this investment of time and resources is a hobby.  Hobbies are great, but tend to be well-kept secrets.  To not invest the time and resources in music as a business will only insure that your music, however great it might be, will not only NOT be monetized to the degree that it should/could be, but will also, potentially, be the greatest work of art that never gets heard. 

    Peggy LinkedIn photoFounder and CEO of Navigation Partners LLC, Peggy Dold (@navigatepartner) has in-depth experience in multi-cultural marketing, global expertise in both the English- and Spanish-language entertainment markets (U.S. and ex-U.S.) and in working with international media, licensing and distribution partners worldwide. Current clients represent the sectors of entertainment technology, superstars in the fields of music, modeling and television as well as independent recording artists. Current projects include content development for multi-media distribution, international business development for new technologies and applications, new market development for International celebrities, and artist development (U.S. General Marketing, U.S. Latin Market, Europe, LatAm, and Asia.).

    12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.

    12 Days of Monetization: 4 Alternative Avenues to Monetize Your Music – Michael Shoup [DAY 10]

    12 Days of Monetization: 4 Alternative Avenues to Monetize Your Music – Michael Shoup [DAY 10]

    Music. It’s that undeniable emotionally charged energy that’s been around for thousands of years.  It’s sent us roaring into battle.  It’s comforted us when we felt the world was closing in on itself.  It’s led us down that road we never thought we’d have the courage to follow.

    But what is it worth?

    $15.99 per compact disc?  $0.99 per single download?  Everything? Nothing?

    It’s a question that consumers and copyright owners may never agree upon again, but that beautiful inequality also allows us as artists to reinvent how our music can reach people.

    My name’s Michael.  I’m a Songwriter and an Entrepreneur, and I want to show you 4 out of the box avenues I use to add value and monetize my music.


    1. House Concerts

    You may have a friend who’s been to one. You may have been to one or performed at one yourself.  If none of these are true, you need to click here and change that.  House Concerts are one of the fastest growing ways to hear new music, and they’ve been around for longer than you may think.

    But you don’t have to take my word for it.  You could just listen to my friend Fran Snyder, Founder of

    I’ve been a member of Concerts In Your Home for the last two years, and it’s changed the way I tour forever.  If you’re like me, you wish you could control the quality of experience you bring to your fans and are tired of dirty venues, hiked up production fees, or pay to play schemes, then look no further.  The intimate experiences at House Concerts have made my most dedicated fans and sold more merchandise than any traditional show I’ve ever played.


    2. Office Concerts

    Maybe houses aren’t your thing. I get that. But your neighbors down the street aren’t the only folks on the block who understand the power of music.  Small businesses are starting to understand how music moves and motivates their workforce… and they want you as a partner.

    Yep, even Google:

    These shows are all about developing an authentic relationship between their brand and your message, and though they may take more work to setup than a house show, the value of your service is rarely in question which leaves you very nicely compensated.


    3. Become an Expert

    You’ve spent countless hours perfecting your craft, making your music indistinguishable from magic… so why would you ever want to break the illusion?  What if you could be both Master and Teacher? Both Bruce Lee and Mr. Miyagi?  We often forget as artists that education and entertainment can be one and the same.  If you’ve never thought about teaching in your life, keep listening, it gets interesting.

    Though I have no formal training in education, I’ve spent the last year educating through my music at colleges from Nebraska to New York City.  How? I’ve been giving Master Classes on Songwriting, Entrepreneurship, and surviving the Music Business, all while getting to play my music for the same students I’m speaking with.  And I’m certainly not the only one.  Meet my friend Danny Young, a fantastic musician and drummer for the musical “We Will Rock You.”  While on the road, Danny stops by at local universities to give a drumming and music business master class called “Beyond The Gig.”  I’ve seen his class firsthand and it’s hands down the most honest and entertaining looks at the life of a touring musician I’ve ever seen.  Oh, and it makes him money too.

    Not convinced yet?  What if it was good enough for this guy:


    Garth Brooks

    Yep, that’s Garth Brooks, who for the last few years has been playing a solo acoustic show in Las Vegas that, boiled down, is some pretty fantastic educational theater about his journey through music.  While the monetary details of his show have never been revealed, you can bet it was more than some drink tickets and a tip jar.  Watch it here and you’ll understand how great of an outlet this can be.


    4. Non-TV Syncs and Licenses

    By now, if you haven’t heard about the potential of licensing as an income source, you’ve probably had your earplugs in for years.  The problem, moreover, is that everyone has heard about it, and there are only so many WB TV shows that might possibly want to play your music.

    On the flip-side, there are a large number of other industries that have recently become interested in licensing music to help their cause.  My personal experience with these comes in the form of Real Estate.

    Go with me for a minute.  What separates, say, a $500k home from a $5 million home?  They’re both probably big and have bedrooms and bathrooms.  But what makes the other so valuable?  The ambience.  The vibe.  The FEELING you get when you’re there.  And a number of agencies have started paying quite well to capture that feeling with film and music to help sell these homes.  To date, I’ve had 4 different songs synced to these videos, with a few licensed multiple times… and my story here is far from unique.  Give it a try.


    The list could go on and on here, but the main take away should be to find what is authentic and unique to your music and let that inspire your creative process of how to monetize it. The sky is the limit, and you set the rules.


    Michael ShoupMichael Shoup is an oddity in the music world. Based in Nashville, TN, he manages to tour extensively as a Solo Recording Artist while serving as the Founder and CEO of his internationally recognized Creative & Web Development Agency, 12South Music. His music credits include performances at SXSW, the CMJ Music Marathon, touring with The Stone Temple Pilots, and working for artists from Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift to Kelly Clarkson.


    12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.

    12 Days of Monetization: Connecting with Fans Through Contests – Corie Kellman [DAY 9]

    12 Days of Monetization: Connecting with Fans Through Contests – Corie Kellman [DAY 9]

    CorieKellman-756x513This article was contributed by Corie Kellman (@Coralman808), Director of New Artist Relations for Cyber PR®.

    When all the numbers and the platform choices start to overwhelm you, take a step back and ask yourself – “If I was a fan, what would I want to see on my page?”

    In the grand scheme of things, your pages are not about having the most views, the most likes or even the largest number of email subscribers – it’s about connecting with the ones that care enough about you to do something (Think: recommend your music to a friend… show up to a show… spend time at the merch table… buy something). When the platforms have evolved, changed their rules, or disappeared, those types of fans remain loyal and seek you out. These are the types of fans that are willing to pay for things that the fair-weather fans may not. Establishing good relationships with your fans is an essential step to monetizing your art.

    One of my favorite ways artists are connecting with their audience are contests. Contests are great for three important reasons:

    1. Contests engage the fans and bring them together – they ask them to participate in your community and bring your fans together in friendly competition.
    2. Contests give you new, fan-generated content to feed your page and share.
    3. Contests give you a chance to give back – fans are a big reason why you are where you are at right now, and will continue to be a driving force in your career.

    Not sure where to start? Here are a few contests (some even I have participated in) to get your brain juices flowing:



    Paramore asked their fans to submit a video of their best karaoke attempt to their recent single “Still Into You” – once all submissions were in, they picked their top six and asked their fans to vote to determine the winner. The lucky Paraoke Queen (or king) was up to grab the bicycle from the music video, two tickets to a show, and a merch pack.

    We See You – You See Us

    Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 8.32.30 AM

    Third Eye Blind used instagram to run a contest, which they cross posted to their Facebook page for 20 fans to win a chance to attend a private practice at the rehearsal studio. All the fans had to do was upload their photo entries to Instagram and hashtag their entry #3EBontheroad– winners were chosen daily the entire week – encouraging fans to keep their eyes on the page all week.

    Fans Just Wanna Have Fun…. With Fun.

    Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 8.32.40 AM

    A local radio station called out to all Fun. fans, asking them to create the funniest or most outrageous video singing their favorite Fun. song for the chance to win first, second, or third row seats to their show at the Ryman auditorium.

    Design a Poster for ZZ Ward

    Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 8.32.50 AM

    Creative Allies administers amazing fan contests that peak interest of your fellow creatives. ZZ Ward is one of my favorites, but take a peek at their site – they have all kinds of great contests running. For ZZ Ward’s contests, fans are asked to design and submit a poster inspired by her music video “365 Days” to win $500 and a ZZ Ward Prize pack. Her community to vote on designs and share them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest – I voted for my favorite and shared on Twitter.

    12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.

    12 Days of Monetization: What Will it Really Take to Make Money from Music? – John Oszajca [DAY 8]

    12 Days of Monetization: What Will it Really Take to Make Money from Music? – John Oszajca [DAY 8]

    John O CartoonThis article was contributed by John Oszajca (@JohnOszajca), a singer/ songwriter who has released albums for Interscope and Warner Brothers Records and is the founder of Music Marketing Manifesto.

    We’ve all heard a lot of talk about the “1000 fan” model. The concept being, that an independent artist only really needs 1000 true fans in order to make a living from their music. But one only needs to run a few quick numbers before you start scratching your head, wondering just how that’s going to work. Because with the average album selling for about $10 a pop, one thousand sales is a mere ten grand. Hardly enough to call an income.

    So how exactly does one make a living from 1000 true fans?

    Well, if you are only selling albums then the reality is that it’s going to be tough. The reason being that music is one of those products that is priced so low that it’s difficult to afford using traditional advertising to grow your fan base. And chasing radio is nearly always a huge waste of money unless you are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a large scale branding campaign. And so independent musicians are left with touring, as the only viable strategy we have for getting our music in front of new people and selling albums. But unfortunately, touring is expensive and difficult to sustain for more than a few months of the year.

    Fortunately, there is a way to make that utopian 1000-true-fan-model actually work, using direct to fan marketing. Direct to fan (aka direct response marketing) differs from traditional marketing in that instead of simply seeking “exposure”, we use proven selling techniques to build an email list of subscribers, build a relationship with those fans, and then use various sales triggers to knock people off of the fence and convince a consistent percentage of them into ACTUALLY buy our music.

    So let’s take a look at some numbers…

    Let’s say you’d like to make $80,000 a year from your music. And let’s say that your primary offer (your album) converts at 5%.

    That means that for every 1000 email subscribers you will sell 50 copies of your album. If your profit margin is $10 per album then you will make $500 per 1000 subscribers.

    So far your average subscriber value will be $0.50.

    Now, let’s say that you add a $40 upsell to your sales funnel and 30% of your initial buyers take you up on it (that’s an approximate industry average). That upsell could be a box set, a membership site, even T-shirts and more traditional merch.

    That would mean that 15 of your 50 customers also bought your upsell bringing in $600 of additional revenue and boosting your subscriber value to $1.10.

    But we’re not done…

    Now let’s say you promote a house concert offer to your list a little down the line, and basically charge any interested fans $400 to have a private concert in their home.

    Let’s say just 5% of you’re album buyers take you up on this…

    That would mean that 2.5 people out of every 1000 subscribers would hire you, bringing in $1000 in additional revenue and bringing your subscriber value up to $2.10.

    Now we need to take our income goal of $80,000 and divide that by $2.10. That means that we will need to generate 38,095 subscribers per year to meet our income goals (if we are trying to meet them within one year).

    The average well structured lead capture page (just a fancy way of saying, the page where people sign up to your mailing list in exchange for some free music), converts at 25% – 40%. So lets make the math easy and say that yours converts at 33.3%. So now we know we need to drive 114,285 people to our site each year…

    Starting to sound like a lot right? But hold on a sec…

    Divide that number by the 365 days of the year and we only need 313 people to come to our site each day.

    If we published just one search engine friendly piece of content each day for a year, and if we assume that we got an average of just one click per day from each piece of content, we could theoretically be on track in less than a year.

    Maybe you decide that you don’t need to make $80,000 each year to survive. Heck, teachers make half that.

    If you decided you could live on $40,000 a year you would only need to drive 157 people to your site each day…

    That’s a mere 157 people each day to accomplish your life long dream of making a full time living as a recording artist.

    If you are inexperienced with online marketing and promotion than you’ll have to take my word for it… 157 people a day is NOTHING!

    Sure it will take some work. But getting in front of 157 people a day is something that ABSOLUTELY every musician can do. Don’t have the time or interest to do the work? Pay for the traffic. It will take an upfront investment, and there WILL be risk, but you can easily generate 157 clicks per day for far less than what most independent labels are spending to promote an artist.

    While you’ll need to slide the numbers around a bit to reach your income goals, all you really need to focus on is bringing in new subscribers for less than what it ultimately costs to acquire them. And when you start offering upsells, running promotions, and pushing live events to your list, getting that subscriber value up high enough to cover advertising costs really becomes possible.

    And remember, while some subscribers will drop off or go cold, the effects are compounding. Meaning that your income should grow from year to year as you add new fans each and every day to your list. Put in the work or spend the money now and you will still have most of those fans for many years to come.

    Eventually your list will grow into the tens of thousands and you will start to have some real influence over your market. Furthermore, this is something you can do WITHOUT the help of labels, managers, or agents.

    When you embrace the Direct to Fan Marketing approach, you are in control of your career, and monetizing your music is no longer some wishy-washy act of faith, but rather a sound business plan which affords you the ability to take specific actions which will get you the results you are after. Which ultimately is to be heard, make a real difference through your music, and to generate enough income to sustain your life as a musician.

    If you’d like to watch a free 40 minute video presentation in which I go through each step of the process in detail, go to now and claim your free copy of the Music Marketing Blueprint.

    12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.

    12 Days of Monetization: Making Money from YouTube Part 2 – Bobby Owsinski [DAY 7]

    12 Days of Monetization: Making Money from YouTube Part 2 – Bobby Owsinski [DAY 7]

    Penny jar

    One of the things that many musicians aren’t aware of is how to make money from their YouTube videos. This is becoming such a big business that most record labels now spend a great deal of time creating and monetizing video content of their artists, as they’ve found it to be a significant source of revenue. But what exactly does that mean to you as an artist or band?

    First of all, it’s possible that a video on YouTube can generate as much as between $5,000 and $8,000 per million views. This money comes from the adverts that play before the video, the banners that pop up during the video, or a video in the middle or end of the video. The problem is that the amount you get paid stems from how long the viewer looks at the advert, so it’s really hard to determine the exact amount you make from each view.

    The money that’s generated from a video is split 55/45 between you (the artist) and Google, who owns YouTube (you get the 55%). If you start to get a significant flow of views on your channel (on the order of about a million per month), you can sign with a Multichannel Network like Omnia Media or Full Screen to up your split to 80%, plus gain access to a whole range of additional YouTube tools.

    In order for you to monetize your videos you must first enable your account for monetization. This is done under the Channel Settings link and then clicking Monetization, at which point you’ll be lead through the registration process (see Figure 1). After your application for Google Adsense (the basis of adding ads to your videos) is confirmed, click on the Start Monetizing Your Videos link and you’ll be taken to your video manager, where you’ll be able to see a list of your uploaded videos.

    Figure 1: YouTube Channel Monetization

    Figure 1

    To the right of each video in the Video Manager you’ll see small three tabs; the first selects whether the video is available to the public or only private viewing, the second shows when the video was published, and the third (the one with the dollar sign) will allow you to monetize the video. When you click on the monetize tab a new window with your video will load with a selection box at the bottom that says Monetize my video. Once that’s selected, a new set of selections appear.

    Now you’re able to select the type of ads and the way they show up in your video (see Figure 2). The first is Overlay in-video ads which loads a transparent ad bar on the lower portion of the video. This is usually the most unobtrusive type of ad, since it allows the user to instantly play your video without having to wait for a commercial to start.

    Figure 2: Ad type selections

    Figure 2

    The next choice is TrueView In-stream ads. This is the dreaded pre-roll commercial that occurs before your video begins. The viewer has the choice of skipping to your video after five seconds, but that also means that the advertiser doesn’t have to pay much when that happens, which also means you don’t get much paid much either. In videos longer than 10 minutes, a mid-roll ad may appear around the seven minute mark.

    The ads in your video are chosen automatically based on the context of the video, which includes the demographic of the viewers, the title and metadata, and how you categorize your video. This means that if you have a music video, the ad is probably going to relate to the person who likes music. You’re not able to manually select the type of ads that are inserted at this time.

    One of the things about ads is that they appear even if you or someone else embeds your video on another site, which allows you to still generate income even if the video isn’t on a site that you control.

    Monetizing your videos is actually a pretty deep subject that can’t totally be adequately covered in a short blog post. You can learn more about making money from your videos and music by checking out my “Turning Your Music Into Cash” program or Social Media Promotion For Musicians book.

    7602524_origCombining his music and recording experience along with an easy to understand writing style, Bobby has become one of the best selling authors in the music recording industry with 23 books that are now staples in audio recording, music, music business and social media programs in colleges around the world, including the best selling “Mixing Engineer’s Handbook,” “The Recording Engineer’s Handbook,” and “Music 3.0: A Survival Guide For Making Music In The Internet Age.” You can discover more about Bobby and his books, programs and blogs at

    12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.

    12 Days of Monetization: 12 Ways to Make Money from YouTube – Jay Frank [DAY 6]

    12 Days of Monetization: 12 Ways to Make Money from YouTube – Jay Frank [DAY 6]


    This article was contributed by Jay Frank (@FutureHitDNA), author of FutureHit.DNA & Hack Your Hit, and is the owner & CEO of DigSin (@DigSin).

    What, you thought there was only one way to make money from YouTube? Au contraire! Read on and take these 12 hacks for YouTube and start building an income stream.

    1) Monetize Your Channel

    It takes a minute to set up, but once you do you can set all your videos to be monetized. YouTube selects ads to be shown against your videos, you get a portion of the revenue. It’s that simple.

    2) Make More Videos… Any Videos

    What, you think just by setting the monetization up that the millions flow quickly? No, they need videos to do that. The good news is that it can be ANY video. Don’t wait to finish that song. Make fun quick videos (at least a minute long) talking about anything. Sure, some of them may make you just a couple of pennies. But over time the volume could start collecting into something meaningful.

    3) Get People to Watch More Videos

    OK, so someone comes in to watch one video. Might they want to watch two so you can make more money? Maybe, but make it easy for them. Make a playlist of your videos and direct people into watching a playlist instead of an individual video. Every view counts.

    4) Set Annotations to Link to iTunes

    Once you have a monetized account that has no copyright dings against it, you can enable your annotations to have live links to iTunes, Google Play and more. Just set Enable on annotations and add one to your video. Voila. Instant traffic to sell your downloads.

    5) YouTube Content ID Fingerprinting

    Make sure your music is put into a database that allows YouTube to match anytime your song is used. That means every time your music is added to a random skateboarding or fashion video, you’ll get a slice of the revenue. If your distributor doesn’t offer it, use a service like Audiam or INDmusic.

    6) Join a Network

    Have a great audience to work from? You can join a YouTube network such as Fullscreen or Maker Studios who leverage your audience for higher ad rates. They may also bring other monetizing opportunities for your videos, not to mention cross promotional opportunities to drive up views.

    7) Put Your Video on VEVO

    If your music videos are high quality and can attract a large audience, consider placing your video on VEVO. You get the advantage of both the YouTube and the VEVO network for visibility, they may promote your video to other viewers to get more views, and they pay at a rate significantly higher than YouTube.

    8) Patreon

    How about a guaranteed payment from your fans for each video you put up no matter how many views it gets? Patreon is a unique model where your fans pledge small monetary figures for Kickstarter-style rewards. The results is knowing how much money you might make from a video before you even make it!

    9) (Nearly) Free Banner Ads

    Little known fact. If you spend just $1 on YouTube ads to your video, you can put up a free banner ad at the beginning of the video that can go anywhere you want. Sell merch, concert tickets…anything. After you place an ad, a “Call-To-Action Overlay” tab will appear on your Info/Settings tab in Video Manager. Voila, free promotion to sell your wares.

    10) Trailers

    YouTube is encouraging channel owners to make a 30 second commercial promoting your channel and placing it on the front page of your Channel page. Great. You can also sign up on Fan Finder and they’ll run the ad in front of other videos for free. Bringing in fans and revenue. Genius!

    11) Description Links

    After you include the basic information on your video in the description, make sure you add outbound links to everything that you’d like to sell to prospective fans. Merch stores, iTunes, Spotify…all great places to draw your fans to for further revenue.

    12) Licensing Companies

    Don’t wait for someone to randomly find your song to put behind them on YouTube. Have people who are actively looking for songs to license. Companies like Audiosocket and CueSongs allow artists to have YouTubers legally license songs for their videos for low rates. Exposure + Revenue = Awesome!

    12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.

    12 Days of Monetization: Selling Direct-to-Fan via Your WordPress Website – Ross Barber [DAY 5]

    12 Days of Monetization: Selling Direct-to-Fan via Your WordPress Website – Ross Barber [DAY 5]

    Ross Barber, Electric KiwiThis article was contributed by Ross Barber, a web designer who specializes in design for bands and musicians. With his company Electric Kiwi he has worked with many independent and unsigned artists to enhance their online presence.

    This article discusses options for selling music via your WordPress website. This list is by no means conclusive – there are a huge number of plugins and options out there and this article covers some of the more widely used methods.

    If you don’t use WordPress, there are still many direct-to-fan options available, such as Bandcamp, Bandzoogle, ReverbNation and Topspin. Whatever your website platform, the right solution is out there!

    Why should I sell via my website?

    1. Your website = the epicentre of your online activity.
Your website should be the central hub of what happens with your music online, and it should be generating money for you. Displaying your products on your website, rather than directing fans and potential customers to an external store offers a more engaging and consistent experience. You wouldn’t send people away from your show to another venue to purchase merchandise, so why would you do the same on your website?

    2. You keep more $$$
    Selling your music and merchandise directly from your website means that you have control over the pricing. Of course, most external stores allow you to set the pricing too, but with your own website you are more in control of what you actually make per sale because you’ll have less fees to pay – which is always a plus! If you’re using PayPal as your payment method, then there will be a small transaction fee to pay (approximately 5%), but you can always work this into your product cost. To do the same on an external store, you may need to increase your costs by 10 or 15% just to keep your margins the same and your finances afloat. Using a store built into your website means that you can keep the prices lower, but without sacrificing your profit.

    3. You also have the opportunity to be creative.
    You don’t necessarily need to sell the standard CDs or t-shirts that every other musician is selling. Create experience packages and sell them to your fans. Are you an awesome guitarist? Offer a 45 minute lesson via Skype. Do fans always ask you for you lyrics? Offer a handwritten copy of your lyrics accompanied by a personal message. When you’re selling products on your own store, you have the freedom to sell whatever you want, and that means you can get creative – in many cases more-so than you can with an external platform.

    4. Your products can (and should) tell a story…

    and where better to do that than on your website? Don’t just list your products for sale – talk about them, give your fans a backstory… make them care about what you’re selling, and get closer to them as a result.

    5. Email addresses!
One big bonus with managing your own store via your WordPress website is that you can see the email addresses of those who are buying from you. Now, you can’t just add these to your mailing list without asking, but what you can do is send out a personal message to those who have purchased your music or merchandise. A personalized thank you can go a long way – it could turn a passive fan into a super fan…and we LOVE super fans! Ask them if you can add them to your mailing list so they can keep informed about your latest releases. You might be surprised at the response, and you might just make someone’s day. You may not have time to do this for everyone, but if you find yourself at a loose end, take advantage of it and make a connection. It could be the start of something beautiful.

    Before making any decisions…

    Create a list of what you would like your store to do and separate that list into essential and desirable features. Consider:

      1. WHO your audience is
      2. WHAT you’re selling
      3. HOW your music or merchandise should be delivered
      4. GIVING your fans the best experience possible
      5. GENERATING income for you as an artist

    E-Commerce Plugins

    There are a multitude of e-commerce plugins available for WordPress. The features will vary between them, but for the more advanced options will include features like stock control, coupon codes, product variations and different shipping options.

    Before deciding on whether an e-commerce plugin is right for you, think about what you want to offer on your store; do you want to sell physical merchandise? Do you want to offer digital downloads? Do you want to offer coupon codes as a reward/incentive for your existing fans to purchase your new line of t-shirts? Do you want to offer different shipping rates for domestic vs international destinations? These are all important things to consider when making a decision on store plugin for WordPress, as each plugin has different capabilities.

    #1: WooCommerce


    One of the big players is WooCommerce. Created by WooThemes, WooCommerce, for most, is an out-of-the-box solution. If you’re at the point where you need a full e-commerce solution, then WooCommerce may be the option for you.


    • Free.
    • Relatively easy to set up.
    • PayPal integration, with options for additional payment gateways available as add-ons.
    • Stock management (i.e. you can tell WooCommerce how many of those awesome new t-shirts you have in stock, and it will automatically tell fans when stock is low, or you’re out of stock – no more awkward emails!)
    • Options for physical and digital products – that’s right, you can offer secure downloads direct from your website, as well as selling physical CDs. It’s like iTunes, but without the middleman.
    • Product variations – do you have 5 different sizes of t-shirt, or want to offer a choice between signed and unsigned copies of your latest CD? No problem!
    • Options for regular and sale prices – great for offering holiday discounts.
    • Large repository of additional extensions and features.
    • Styles can be customized from the options menu.


    • While there are options for basic customization, depending on your theme, further customization may be required. Generally speaking if you’re using one of the default WordPress themes, or a well recognized theme, WooCommerce should work as is, but if you’re using a custom theme then you, or your developer, may need to spend some time tweaking things to get things looking just right.
    • Extensions may need to be purchased if you require more advanced shipping options.
    • So many options can be overwhelming and cause confusion when adding items, or initially setting up the store.

    #2: Ultra Simple Paypal Shopping Cart


    For many, a full e-commerce solution like WooCommerce is too large an undertaking. After all, if you’re only selling a small number of products, or don’t require features such as stock management or digital downloads, then you may be better going for a simpler store. The name really does say it all in this case.

    Many artists already use Paypal to sell their products. It’s a simple way to sell your music direct to your fans. It’s not always the most attractive solution – however, when styled to be consistent with your website (and not just using Paypal’s standard buttons) it can look like a higher end solution.

    For artists who don’t want all of the additional features that some of the larger e-commerce plugins offer, Ultra Simple Paypal Shopping Cart is one viable solution.


    • Free.
    • PayPal integration.
    • Simple to set up: you could have your products for sale within an hour, if not less.
    • Ideal for artists who just want to sell a small number of products directly from their website.


    • Will require some development work to make the store operate like a higher end e-commerce solution.
    • No alternative payment options – must use PayPal.
    • Less flexible than a plugin like WooCommerce.
    • Not ideal for digital downloads (as cannot generate individual URL for each download link), so would be limited to physical products only.
    • No coupon codes or discount rates available (at time of writing).

    #3: Easy Digital Downloads

    If you’re only looking to sell digital downloads, then Easy Digital Downloads is the solution for you. It’s lightweight and simple, offering only the functions needed to operate a digital-only store.


    • Sell digital downloads direct from your website – keep all of the profits without paying out to iTunes/Bandcamp etc.
    • Promotional codes available.
    • Create product bundles.
    • Add ons available to improve functionality.
    • PayPal integration included – other payment gateways available via paid add-ons.
    • Since it’s digital-only, you don’t have to worry about making trips to the post office ;)
    • Mailing list add-ons available to merge email addresses provided during purchase with your existing mailing list database.


    • Digital only – no physical sales can be made via this plugin.

    What if I don’t use WordPress, or want an easier solution?

    If you don’t use WordPress, or don’t want to set up an integrated store, there are plenty of other options. At the end of the day, you want to be able to make money from your music, and part of that is about making your music readily available, keeping prices low for fans, and keeping profits high (or at least sustainable) for you.

    You should ensure that fans have an option to buy your music directly via your website in some way or another. If this is simply a link to an external store, then so be it, but an integrated store is preferable.



    Bandcamp is a great solution for many artists as you can create a storefront within minutes, and can also easily embed it within your website (WordPress or not). Bandcamp takes 15% of your digital sales revenue, and 10% on merch (dropping down to 10% on digital sales once you’ve reached $5,000 USD and stays at that level as long as you make that amount within the previous 12 months, too). Processing fees are (like Paypal’s) somewhere between 4 and 6%.

    Bandcamp’s players are relatively customizable (although do lack in color and font options – hopefully something that will be expanded on in the near future), and Bandcamp is a trusted retailer by many. Embedding a Bandcamp widget onto your website is simple to do, and will allow people to make a decision without leaving your website.



    Ecwid is a new storefront, which is free if you’re selling less than 10 items on your store. You have the freedom to set your own prices and shipping details, and you can embed the storefront onto your existing website with relative ease.

    Granted, the appearance isn’t exactly beautiful, but it’s very functional and for artists on a budget who want to get a working store online and sell direct-to-fan, it’s a very reasonable solution.


    Of course, there are many other direct-to-fan outlets available. The most important thing is that you do your research and compare them to find out which one suits YOUR needs best. Don’t be afraid to seek out feedback from other artists to find out what has worked for them, and what hasn’t.

    In closing…

    Ultimately, when it comes to selling your music or merchandise via your website, the decision is in your hands. There’s no correct answer, and no solution that is going to be right for everyone. The way that you sell your products to your fans will depend on:

    • What you’re offering (physical or digital, or both?)
    • How many products you’ll be listing at one time
    • Whether or not you need stock control or the ability to create bundles and/or coupons
    • What payment options you require
    • If you need to offer different shipping rates for domestic vs international
    • If you want to sell more creative/non-standard products

    In other words, there are a lot of factors to consider before making a decision.

    A fully integrated store solution is, in my opinion, the ideal option. Something that blends seamlessly into your website, and provides your fans with a consistent and smooth experience is a winner in my book.

    Setting up your online store should be an exciting time. To ensure it’s a smooth process, consider hiring or collaborating with a designer/developer to get the best results from your new store. That will also free up some time to create some new music and packages that your fans will love. You’ll also have the benefit of drawing from a professional’s experience to help make your new store the best it can be.

    If you lack the experience, budget or need for one of the more advanced, all-encompassing solutions, then an external storefront embedded onto your website may be right for your needs. It’s all about doing what’s right for you and your career at this point in time. Remember that things can always be changed and if you find that you need to upgrade at a later date, it’s very possible.

    Whatever option you decide to go with, here’s wishing you a very successful, and profitable 2014!

    12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.

    12 Days of Monetization: How Do You Get People to Buy Your Music? – Debra Russell [DAY 4]

    12 Days of Monetization: How Do You Get People to Buy Your Music? – Debra Russell [DAY 4]


    That’s the question, isn’t it?  As Facebook makes “Likes” even more meaningless than they already were, and in spite of the common perception that your primary path to success is through social media, for most artists social media numbers simply don’t translate into actual purchasing fans.

    So, how do you sell your music?

    So, I’m not going to waste your time by answering that question the way the music industry USED to work, right?  Because that way is dead and gone and no longer applies to 99.9% of artists today.  And I’m assuming you’re not part of that .1%, because I’m guessing they aren’t reading this blog…

    The short answer is – you must make a genuine and real connection with your fans.  Then, and only then, you must ask for the sale.

    If you ask for the sale before you make the genuine and real connection, it will fall flat.  You will be just one more spamming, self-involved artist.  If you just make the genuine and real connection but don’t ever call your fans to action – that action being to buy tickets to a show, download or purchase your CD or buy your merch) – then you will feel the love, but you won’t be able to pay the bills.

    So let’s break that out into the two steps.

    Make a Genuine and Real Connection with Your Fans

    Yep – I’ve said it, real connection, real relationship – that means you have to actually spend time connecting with your fans, finding out who they are, what’s important to them, what you have in common with them, creating rapport with them – in other words, Marketing!

    Lest you think you’re already marketing – marketing is NOT:

    • Repeating ad nauseum – “check out my blog/youtube video/song on youtube, whatever!!!”
    • tweeting/facebooking about what you had for dinner, what your cat threw up or how many times you’ve changed your guitar strings.
    • tweeting/facebooking/G+ing how you recorded this song and who’s playing on that track. How cool are you?

    That’s not marketing.  Because marketing has more to do with your market than with you.  And it’s not even sales – because there’s no real call to action, there’s a backhanded, implied call to action in the “check out my …”  Because the implication is, that if they check it out, then they’ll buy it.  But they don’t, do they?  Because it’s not a clear call to action.  And it’s not built on a real connection.  Because in order to make a real connection – you have to actually connect with them, not blast at them.

    Real marketing is defined as:

    Creating an environment in which people WANT to buy.  An environment in which they feel safe, excited, even driven to buy.

    So you have to ask – what makes people want to buy?  And how do you inspire that experience in your fans?

    The short answer is, that depends on your fans.  It depends on who they are.  What’s important to them.  What they’re passionate about.

    If you can key into that and connect with them about what is important to them, they will go out of their way to buy from you.

    If you can help them with a problem, help them fulfill a need, they will beat down your door to buy from you.

    And if you can make them feel like they actually, genuinely matter to you, that you truly get them, they will get all their friends to buy from you.

    But in order to do that – you have to listen.  You have to ask questions.  You have to know who they are and understand what their needs are.  And that takes actual work that has nothing to do with your music.  It has to do with getting online and reading their stream and asking them questions.  It has to do with responding to their questions in a way that is genuine and real.  It has to do with seeing someone, for example, ask for information about a realtor on Facebook and going to your stream and finding a realtor to recommend to them.  Or reading about them having a tough time in their lives and offering compassion and empathy.  Sometimes it just means responding to their joke with a real laugh of enjoyment and sharing it.

    But Debra, that would take so much time!  Whose got time for that?  I just want them to buy my stuff, come out to my show, tell their friends about me!

    But why should they?  WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM???

    Look, I get it.  You’re busy, we all are.  But the best way to create real success over the long term is to create real fans in the short term.  Fans who will love you for life.  Fans who will share you with their friends.  Fans who will come work for you as your street team.  That’s how you create success.  It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.

    And I don’t believe there’s a quick and dirty shortcut.  Can you outsource this?  Maybe.

    But you better outsource this to someone who really gets that what they need to do is create a real experience of you in your prospective fans’ hearts and minds.  You can systematize this connection so it doesn’t take over your life.  You can schedule specific, limited daily actions.  You can delegate the parts of the system that don’t need your voice and your touch.

    But ultimately you are creating a relationship between you and your fans – and no one else is going to be able to do that for you.

    So, now, you’ve built connections with your fans, your fans RT and share your content.  They respond when you ask them questions, they’re ready.

    NOW Ask for the Sale

    Here’s where it can be scary.  You’ve spent all this time creating a real relationship with them, but now you have to ask for money.  You have to ask them to contribute to your Kickstarter or buy tickets to your show.  You have to ask them share you with their friends by buying a CD as a Christmas gift.

    And that can be scary – because you’ve actually created a relationship with them.  They’ve started to matter to you.  And if they say “No.” it might hurt.

    But what if you think about it differently.  What if “No” doesn’t mean that they don’t love you or whatever you’re currently making it mean that makes it hurt.  What if “No” means either:

    1. This isn’t the right time/place/format/price for them, or
    2. They’re not the right fan for you?

    If it’s the first, well, you can package your products differently, at different price points, formats, or whatever to make it easier for your fans to say “Yes.”  You can also change the energy around the “Ask” to generate excitement or humor or the emotion in your fans that your fans will respond to.

    And how do you know what that is?  Oh, yeah, that’s right – YOU KNOW THEM!

    You can test different ways to ask them and see what works.  But when you’re designing your “Ask” remember, you want to create in them the same emotional connection you feel when you’re excited, inspired and happily anticipating buying something.  Make it fun.  Make it real.  Just think about the last time you bought something and you felt really good about it.  Yeah – that – that’s the same feeling that will inspire your fans to take action.  So, what was it about the offer you purchased that made you want to buy?  How can you translate that into your offer for your fans?

    And if its the second, no worries – because if you’ve spent a lot of time in the first step, then you have enough people.  So that even if one person isn’t the right fan for you, there are others who are!  So no single “No” will make or break your career.  And if you just ask for the sale enough, with a strong groundwork of relationship, you’re going to get plenty of fans who will say yes, happily!  Not only will they say yes happily.  But they will love you for asking.  And they will love saying yes to you!

    Because your success has become important to them.  And why has it become important to them?  BECAUSE THEY KNOW YOU!

    _MG_4528crop_square 200x200

    Debra Russell, Speaker, Certified Master Results Business Coach, and Certified NLP and Hypnosis Master Practitioner is the founder of Artists EDGE. Specializing in the Music Business, Arts and Entertainment Industry and with Professional Athletes, Debra is guided by your passion as she applies her business knowledge and ability to facilitate transformational change and growth to guide you to success in your chosen field.

    For more support, tools and resources, check out the Artist’s EDGE Website where you can also find more articles. Or follow Debra on Twitter.

    12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.

    12 Days of Monetization: How to Make Money from Live Shows – John Taglieri [DAY 3]

    12 Days of Monetization: How to Make Money from Live Shows – John Taglieri [DAY 3]

    John Tag

    Hi, I’m John Taglieri. I’m an indie artist with 11 CDs out selling nearly 25,000 units, have been touring the world for years, own my own recording studio, record label and Publishing company. I’ve done pretty much all I ever set out to do in this business and things just keep getting better. There are a LOT of ways you can make money in music… so lets focus in on one… Live Shows.

    I play about 220 shows a year all over the country and have been for many years now. My shows are a mixture of cover songs and Original songs. I know many artists shy away from the covers and want to be ‘true to themselves’…and that’s fine, but what I’m going to talk about is making a living…not serving your ego. I play a mix and what its allowed me to do is make a living, while still putting out 11 (working on 12) original Cds and sell 25k of them. When I started, I took a lot of gigs some others wouldn’t take, but to me it was building relationships. I connected this way with two booking agents that I’ve now been with for 8 years each and who have helped to ensure that my calendar was always full.

    While I play a hybrid show, I never present myself as anything more than me…come to my show, you’re going to have a fun time and I’ll hope that you want to come back again. This view on things has given me the ability to do some amazing things in my career, but first and foremost, what it’s done is pay the bills. About 70% of my income is from live touring and it’s something I truly love doing. It’s not hard and for all the naysayers out there telling you otherwise, there are a LOT of gigs to be had for those who want them. I have 220 or so gigs a year and a lot more I could take if I had the time. There are hundreds of venues out there that are willing to book acts and pay…again, you’ll have to be willing to play some covers. This is where you have to ask yourself one very simple but hard question…’WHAT IS MY GOAL’? Is sitting behind a desk/working at the mall/insert job here while you struggle to get gigs that don’t pay and you have to do all the work the goal? Or is making a living doing what you love the goal? I wanted to make a living. And I also figured, being on stage playing anything beats a soulless day job working for someone else any day of the week, plus I get to work on my chops and play some songs I love to play alongside my originals. So it’s really about you…and what you decide…career for your ego or career for good business.

    If you choose to make a living in music, there is a decent amount of money to be made. More than most any decent ‘day job’ you’ll ever get. Most cover/original club gigs pay in the $200-$300 range for a solo act. It goes up from there for a duo or band. Now, I know some folks cant be solo…cant sing, maybe cant play guitar, or in some way be solo, but if you play at all, you can connect with someone or others who have those abilities and form a duo or band that does the same thing.

    Also, just to touch on it, diversify. There are plenty of ways to make money from music these days. I also make money on CD sales, T-Shirt sales, studio session work both in my studio and others, CD duplication work (I bought a CD/DVD duplicator/printer and do short run work for others), picking up gigs as a sideman for other bands/performers. So there are a lot of ways to make money, which is what the end game is.

    I hope this perspective has helped you in some way and you can always reach out to me if you have any questions or a differing view. I’m always up for a great conversation.

    Now get out, play some music, LIVE WITH INTENTION and BE AWESOME!!

    John Taglieri

    12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.

    12 Days of Monetization: What’s Really Stopping You From Making Money From Music? – Nikki Loy [DAY 2]

    12 Days of Monetization: What’s Really Stopping You From Making Money From Music? – Nikki Loy [DAY 2]


    This article was contributed Nikki Loy (@NikkiLoyMusic), a singer/ songwriter, entertainer and creative obsessive.

    What do you really believe about your music career? If your thoughts about your music were announced to your audience on the P.A. system through which you perform, what would we all hear?  

    Do you only think great thoughts? Or do you catch yourself thinking ‘I’ll never make any money at this’, ‘It’s too hard!’, ‘There’s too much competition’, ‘No-one notices me’, ‘I wish a major label would sign me and make life easier’, ‘No-one likes my kind of music’, ‘I make Un-popular music’ ‘I’ll be poor forever’ ‘Musicians don’t make money..’ ‘I’m just one in a million other talented songwriters’

    If you have negative beliefs about yourself and your career, you will always feel like you are climbing your mountain of musical success with a bungie cord strapped round your waist pulling you back to the bottom. Wouldn’t it be great to get rid of that cord and just be free to ascend unhindered?

    I suggest you take some time this holiday to find a comfy place, where you won’t be disturbed. Take out a notebook or journal, and get really honest with yourself about this. Don’t hold back. Get those thoughts and feelings out. Without judgement, let your emotions take over for a bit and write it all down. Find out what you have been rehearsing in your head that is contrary to the desires of your heart. Ask your self how any negative beliefs are effecting your ability to make money from music right now. Write that down too. And how will they effect you in the long term?   

    The thing about beliefs is that your subconscious mind will orchestrate your life to reinforce your beliefs. You will unwittingly make choices and decisions, and adopt behaviours and expectations, that re-affirm your beliefs. For example: ‘No-one notices me’ used to be a big one for me. It manifested in audiences literally ignoring me. When I realised that I was subconsciously communicating ‘Ignore me’ to the crowd, through my tone of voice, my body language and my lack of interaction, I saw how I had created my own reality. Then I took action to change all of that behaviour, and it hasn’t been a problem since – Every crowd chants for an encore!

    I also notice musicians struggling with this one ‘Musicians are badly paid’. When I probe a little deeper and find out who negotiated the deal and agreed the fee. I find the it’s musician who chose the win-loose scenario!? Doh! What would it be like to believe ‘I am a professional performer who is well compensated for my efforts’? How would that have effected the outcome of the deal?

    By bringing these beliefs up and out into the open, you can begin to address them and swap them for beliefs that are going to help you reach the top of your mountain faster and more easily. So once you have found out what you believe about your music career, write down a corresponding, more empowering belief, so that you can notice next time that thought pops up, and choose to think the more empowering thought instead. You’ll be able to change your thinking and change your life. ;0)

    Here are a few examples:

    ‘Musicians don’t make money in music.’ becomes, ‘Many musicians don’t make money in music but many, many do, and I am employing the proven techniques and strategies they have used that will grow my career and result in financial return.’

    ‘I’ll be poor forever.’ becomes, ‘I’ll be poor forever if I don’t change my thinking and my expectations!’

    ‘There’s too much competition!’ becomes, ‘There are 7 billion people on this planet, that’s audience enough for everyone!’

    ‘No-one notices me,’ becomes, ‘No-one notices me while I’m sulking in the corner, instead I choose to engage and interact with my audience.’

    Sometimes just shining a light on a negative belief is enough to make it change. Your conscious mind will realise that it’s silly and ‘poof!’, it’ll disappear, sspecially if you can see how it’s going to negetively effect you in the long term. Other’s will take a little practice but persist, the change will be worth it!

    You may never have given voice to the negative feelings you have about your career, they may have just sat like a knot in your stomach while you carry on regardless but your beliefs are the foundation of your ability to make money from music. If you can get into the habit of noticing and changing the negative ones, you can re-align your beliefs with your career goals and have your whole being moving in the right direction. Then all the practical stuff that you have learned about making money in music from Ariel Hyatt, Bob Baker, John Oszajca and the like, will be so much more effective!

    So before you go making your New Year’s resolutions, set yourself up with some new beliefs and see what a difference it makes to you in 2014!

    Happy Christmas!



    12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.

    12 Days of Monetization: 60 Do’s and Don’ts of Monetizing Your life in Music – Julie Flanders [DAY 1]

    12 Days of Monetization: 60 Do’s and Don’ts of Monetizing Your life in Music – Julie Flanders [DAY 1]

    julie-flanders-photoHappy Holiday season everyone! I hope that you are taking some time to do a little bit of relaxing and reflecting. I always like to look back at what was important, what I would like to do more of, and how I can move forward with more ease and abundance which brings me to this blog series.

    There is a lot of focus on what artists are not getting, and on the struggle. I want to focus instead on how to get a little bit more on what we all want, and that is to make money with our music. In that spirit, I have asked 12 of my favorite people to share with me their thoughts on monetization.

    I left my request open and broad, and as you will see, there are a lot of suggestions here. I hope you are inspired and that you can use some of these actionable ideas in your toolkit for 2014.

    I’m thrilled to kick off this blogging series with this entry from my success coach and dear friend and client Julie Flanders.

    Julie is the perfect choice for this series understands the mindset you need to succeed because she’s been in both sides of the business – major label artist and indie DIY artist and she now coaches creative entrepreneurs on how to increase their joy, their income and she changes their overall mindset for lasting success. She’s changed my life and I hope this post changes your thinking.

    From all of us at Cyber PR®, we wish you success!


    This article was contributed by Julie Flanders, Achievement Expert and Creative Success CoachRecording artist and lyricist for October Project, a major–label turned independent artist with a worldwide following.

    Some BASIC Don’ts

    1. Don’t suck musically. You need to be outstanding!
    2. Don’t avoid the responsibility for the business part
    3. Don’t limit yourself to outdated models or fantasies. The music business changes quickly.
    4. Don’t listen to naysyers or myth makers
    5. Don’t be too proud to do the work. It’s a business as well as a calling
    6. Don’t be ashamed of your dreams or your mistakes
    7. Don’t measure yourself by wrong definitions of success (other peoples!)
    8. Don’t be afraid of failure
    9. Don’t be afraid of success
    10. Don’t let other people decide how you will think and feel about yourself
    11. Don’t shrink to fit – stay expansive with your vision and actions
    12. Don’t take anything personally
    13. Don’t judge other people in ways you would not want to be judged yourself
    14. Don’t think short-term
    15. Don’t screw your friends
    16. Don’t make enemies – they take too much time and drain creative energy
    17. Don’t believe hype and myths – no one just gets it handed to them
    18. Don’t stop
    19. Don’t blame other people or make excuses
    20. Don’t worry, be happy

    Monetizing Mindset Tips

    Some BASIC DO’s

    1. Do be excellent, unique, fantastic, daring and unrelenting
    2. Do be true to yourself
    3. Do practice, rehearse, and commit every day to your Art, Music and Soul
    4. Do innovate – try new ideas. DO try everything
    5. Do Be scared (and don’t worry about it)
    6. Do take action and then take more action
    7. Do write your goals down and FOCUS on what you want to create
    8. Do expect challenges and embrace them as NORMAL AND NECESSARY
    9. Do celebrate yourself
    10. Do ask for help
    11. Do offer your music to the world constantly by performing, recording, collaborating, connecting, posting, blogging and being visible in your music community
    12. Do put yourself IN harms’ way – Be IN it
    13. Do be seen, be heard, be felt, be noticed, be everywhere
    14. Do accept feedback but YOU decide who you are and what you create
    15. Do have fun! You LOVE music! THAT’s important!
    16. Do support other people
    17. Do ask for and receive help
    18. Do believe in yourself – teach other people how to hear, see, feel and VALUE your work by DOING THAT YOURSELF
    19. Do go for it
    20. Do the impossible until it becomes the actual

    Practical Tips to Help You Monetize Your Life in Music

    Some BASIC Do’s

    1. Do sell your music – digitally, physically and in every format you can think of or that they invent
    2. Do sell other related items of your brand and creativity such as hats, mugs, keychains, totebags, t-shirts, etc.
    3. Do make song-books or sheet music
    4. Do collaborate and share – working with other artists expands your skills, your reach, your audience
    5. Do play out and perform as often as you can – consider it an investment not an expense
    6. Do make money by building enough audience to support your gigs and expenses. Lavish your audiences with praise and attention
    7. Do host other artists from other cities to play in your town and help them build audience
    8. Do travel to other cities and play venues and house concderts to build regional audience
    9. Do blog, send newsletters, post videos to YouTube etc , be active on social media
    10. Do create relationships with booking agents in our city and other cities and REMEMBER they MAINLY care about how many people you bring
    11. Do empower yourself to play in a lot of configurations – with a band, acoustic, with well-programmed tracks
    12. Do keep current with what is happening with other artists you love, admire, envy or follow. The artists who you perceive as a step ahead of you can be very helpful. They are doing what you should be doing. Figure out what it is and go do similar things.
    13. Do support artists who have what you want to have by LIKING their pages, supporting their work, going to their shows, offering tyo double3 bill with them. Create opportunities. OH! and if you want people to buy your music, buy theirs.
    14. Do be a part of the music world – join ASCAP, BMI OR SESAC.
    15. If you’re a woman, join Women in Music
    16. Let CYBER PR Empower and educate you. Read Ariel Hyatt’s Books, blogs, etc. and attend her trainings and webinars. Benefit from the generosity of her enormous free resources.
    17. Do make managers, agents, critics, bloggers and anyone you can think of aware of you by connecting with them thru every channel or means you can think of.
    18. Do be willing to use your other gifts and abilities to make money – teach, coach, do art and graphic design, play your instrument for others, write songs for or with people, do tech, be an engineer – whatever it takes for you to “sponsor” your own life
    19. Do crowd-fund – it not only raises money, it raises awareness and engagement
    20. Do GO FOR IT in your own way and on your own terms
    21. PS ALSO – if it’s right for your style, DO put yourself into the LOTTERY of the big time – record deals, the Voice, and shows like it, etc. Just realize it is a LOTTERY and a game, not a measurement of your talent, abilities, soul, musicianship or success. AT most, it might be a metric of your good looks and commercial appeal. It’s a game you can play, but not make the rules for. Don’t take it too seriously, but PLAY it if you are brave and silly enough. We did! and while it lasted it was a thrilling ride on the rollercoaster of the music business. You just have to remember you don’t own the amusement park!

    12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.

    Sharon Gannon

    Sharon Gannon

    Along with David Life, she is the co-founder of the Jivamukti Yoga Method which contributed to the exponential rise in popularity of yoga in the west during the late 20th century. She is an animal rights advocate, musician, author, dancer/choreographer and painter. In 2010, Gannon released her first solo album, Sharanam on the White Swan Record Label, and it was hailed by Sting as “inspired, daring and essential.”

    Campaign Angles: Yoga, Spiritual Music, Animal Rights,

    Setting Effective Goals for Navigating the Music Industry in 2014

    Setting Effective Goals for Navigating the Music Industry in 2014

    Girl before a labyrinth

    It’s almost a new year and a clear slate is in front of all of us. The turning of the calendar from 2013 to 2014 is an ideal time to set your goals. I see a marked difference between artists who set finite goals and those who do not regardless of what is happening in the world and in the news.

    Ask yourself: Is this the year I want to make a difference for my music career? 

    And if so – what difference and how?

    Think of goal setting as if you were driving in a foreign place – You wouldn’t get where you expect to go without a clear set of directions. Goal setting is like drawing a map for yourself.
    This article is designed to assist you in creating a personal roadmap for achieving what you would like with your musical career this year, whether you consider music your hobby or you are making a full-time living from it.

    I have included a few links from some of the best musician related posts on how to think about and achieve goals as well.  So, bookmark this long article and refer to it throughout the year!

    Mapping Out Your Goals

    Many studies have proven that long-term perspective is the most accurate single predictor of upward social and economic mobility in America. And it has been proven that people who have goals written down are much more likely to achieve them.

    Focus Areas – Creating Order

    STEP 1: Write Down Your Focus Areas

    Here is a list of some areas you may want to focus on. Skip the ones that are not for you and write out each focus area goal.

    Branding – Your look and feel your image and health or your pitch and overall messaging.

    Marketing – What will you do this year for your marketing plans.

    Newsletter –  It’s still the #1 way to make money!  What will you do to create and send yours 12 – 24 times this year & how many people can you add to your e-mail list.

    Website  – Building a new one or diversifying your online presence?

    Social Networking  – How’s your Facebook Fan Page looking? How many tweets do you send each week?

    PR – Getting covered on radio, print, or online.

    Booking – Touring or local gigs this year or a combination?

    New Music – How much will you release?

    Money – How much money you would like to earn?

    Film & TV Placements – Will you work towards them this year?

    Expanding Your Fan Base – How will you do this?

    Team – Will you be trying to get a manager or a booking agent?

    Time – How will you manage to balance your time this year to make sure you can focus on your musical goals?

    Songwriting – Recording an album or EP this year or just releasing singles as they come?

    Instrument – Buying a new instrument or taking lessons?

    Personal Health – So your performance is better – exercise, eating  etc.

    STEP 2: Write Your Goals Down

  • Write each goal as if it is already happening – use the present tense
  • Give dates by when you want to achieve each one
  • Your goals should involve you and only you (they can’t be contingent on someone else)
  • Make them so they are realistically achievable
  • Start with small goals so I can get them checked off the list and get in momentum fast!
  • Make sure they make you FEEL MOTIVATED to complete!  Derek Sivers wrote great commentary on this:

  • STEP 3: Look At Them Everyday

    I highly recommend writing your goals neatly on paper or creating a vision board that illustrates them. Use colored pens or make a collage that brings them to life and hang them in a place where you can see them everyday.

    Keeping them within your sights will keep them in your mind.

    Carla Lynne Hall at Rockstar Life Lessons has a fabulous guide on how to create a vision board on her blog:

    Techniques For Achieving Goals

    1. Start With An Easy Goal And Complete It

    One of the main reasons people don’t end up achieving their goals / keeping their new years resolutions is they set themselves up for failure by choosing goals that take a lot of discipline and time to achieve. There is nothing wrong with having big goals however, here’s what I recommend to overcome this issue…

    Choose a simple goal and get it achieved within the next two weeks. This will start your momentum and get you feeling like you are in full forward motion.

    Think of a small, achievable goal that only takes four to five hours to complete.

    Choose something like:

    • Organize cluttered studio
    • Clean off desk
    • Delete unwanted files & emails from computer
    • Recycle last years unwanted papers
    • Write one new song

    Next, set a date when you will get your chosen goal done by and go for it.

    Now that you have achieved a goal within the first two weeks of the new year, the rest of your goal setting will seem a lot easier to accomplish, and you will be able to get things off your plate.

    2. Make Lists To Stay On Track

  • Make daily lists of what you need to do to get your goals met – the night before! Do the hardest thing first in the morning – don’t procrastinate
  • Do something everyday that moves you towards your goals
  • Delegate the little activities that waste your valuable time to other people (you would be amazed what you could do with 4 hours it takes to clean your house).
  • Don’t overload yourself – studies show that 6 tasks is the maximum you can achieve in one day!

  • 3.  Get Help

    Build a TEAM to help you!! Get an intern or two – log on to and read for inspiration and post as an employer seeking interns – you will be amazed at how many bright young people would like to get their feet wet in the business.

    If you are not comfortable with the idea of an intern then ask a friend or a family member to help you.  Schedule just 2 hours a week with that person to attack the goals and get them in motion.

    4. Structure Time to Achieve Goals

    They won’t happen unless you have time to make sure they do!

    Make sure you set aside time and stick to it with pigheaded diligence.

    5. Remember You Can Change The Goals As You Go

    Goals should be looked at as beacons and guiding points for you to keep yourself on track along your journey.  I would not recommend changing them every week but the music industry is changing so rapidly it’s hard to know what goals are reachable in this landscape. So if the course of the year your goals change its OK to cross one off or modify as you go.

    6. Write Down 5 Successes Each Day

    I’m inviting you to write down five little victories a day for this entire year.
    I learned this powerful technique years ago from T. Harv Eker.  Once you start getting into this habit, you are training yourself to put the focus on the positive and get your brain to stop being so critical.

    So put a notebook in your gig bag or next to your bed and each day write down 5 things. Make one or two of them music or band related.

    Here are some examples:

    1. Went to gym.

    2. Wrote lyrics for a new song.

    3. Called three clubs for potential booking.

    4. Did the dishes.

    5. Posted a blog.

    7. My Final Piece of Advice – Go Easy On Yourself!

    This is a process intended to take a whole year and you will have your days where you may get frustrated, and you will start to beat yourself up (sound familiar?).

    Self-criticism will interfere directly with achieving your goals and dreams.  So, the next time you are making yourself wrong, take a step back and instead acknowledge the good, and celebrate your achievements.

    Another thing that will stop you is not taking time for YOU so schedule time to reflect and take it all in.  Maybe that’s a walk in the woods, maybe that’s cooking yourself a decadent meal, or maybe it’s spending time with people you love and turning down your power for a few days without the pressure of a holiday or an event….

    Here’s to your success in 2014!

    Want a Step-By-Step Guide To Help You?

    My third edition of Music Success in Nine Weeks is available to help
    Order now:

    Is Blogging Your Ticket To Speedy Full-Time Musician Status?

    Is Blogging Your Ticket To Speedy Full-Time Musician Status?

    This is a guest article by Ben Sword, head coach at Music Marketing Classroom. Go here for more free training

    blogChances are that if you’ve ever dabbled in the wonderful world of online music marketing you might have set up a blog at some point.

    After playing with the fonts and colours for 7 hours (or was that just me?) you got to work eagerly bashing away at the keyboard week after week until finally that sinking feeling hit you like a sucker punch from Grandma…

    “Hot Dang’ …Nobody is reading my Shizzle!”

    Kinda feels like playing the best show of your life with only the bar staff watching! Not Cool.

    But why the radio silence?

    Well recently I spent around 3 months talking to every smart and successful blogger I could find in an effort to try and CRACK THE CODE for my latest book.

    (which you’re getting below)

    But you wanna know the “Magical Formula” right now?

    Ok here goes…

    To run a world class blog you need to build a big enthusiastic audience who suck up your every word like I drink Oreo Milkshake…and the only way there is HARD WORK.

    That ain’t a very sexy thing for me to tell you, and I’m sure I would shift a lot more Classroom memberships if I was peddling a “fast-forward button” that gave you a Bagillion fans overnight.

    But it don’t exist…

    Sure there are examples of fast success, but relying on that is like saying “one day I’ll win the lottery and everything will be cool” rather than designing a real career (and business) that will sustain your hunger for Apple macs even when the five minutes of fame are over. (or is that just me again?)

    Right…so now we got the reality check out the way, the question remains…can you really use blogging as your path to speedy full time musician status?

    And the answer to that question my Interweby friend is 100% YES, but a well thought out Guest Blogging strategy will get you there faster.

    Guest Blogging? What The FUNK?

    The big idea here is that rather than spending four hundred years posting on your own site trying to build an audience, you first find relevant websites who have already got a bunch of visitors and become a valued content provider for them.

    So WELL DONE because you just got a promotion, and your new job title is “Creator of super-awesome interesting stuff to be posted wherever there is a crowd”.

    I believe EPIC Stuff should be the focus with any kind of sensible online marketing right now, in fact it’s not really about using a Blog at all, or a YouTube channel or even a Twitter feed…it’s your commitment to consistently producing inspiring and share-worthy articles, videos and music that will put you on the yellow brick road to a thriving audience.

    Just to be clear…this strategy is NOT about using other sites JUST for their crowd like some fun sucking mind leech, but asking yourself how you can become a trusted and valued content producer to those websites and their followers?

    Once you have a crowd of interested people collected on an email list from your guest posting exploits you’re free to focus on your own website if you like, because now you have a captive audience ready and waiting for what you have coming out.

    So that’s the snazzy intro in the can, but I made you the following video and action-plan to help you get to work:

    Your Action Plan

    1. Pick a topic that gets you all hot under the collar, then read the top three articles on Google for inspiration.
    2. Set a timer for 25 minutes and write down everything you can think of based on your chosen topic. Don’t stop writing or edit anything yet.
    3. Leave it overnight and go bake a cake or something, then come back the next day to edit your masterpiece ready for posting.
    4. Make it easy for your promo partners by setting up the code in your own blog first so they can post instantly.
    5. Don’t forget to link back to a page on your site where you can collect new email subscribers by offering them something killer.
    6. Contact popular websites to pitch your guest content. Search tools: Follower Wonk, Similar Site Search and good ol’ Google.
    7. If you hear nothing follow-up with a friendly reminder.
    8. Use the feedback you get to improve your pitch and then rinse and repeat the process until you’ve gotten all the hits you can from the content you created.

    If right now you’re pumped and feel confident that guest posting is going to be totally badass for you then I suggest you commit to it as your main promo method for at least three months and focus. (Six days a week if possible.)

    Only then will you have a proper indication of your success.

    Remember the words of Bruce Lee…

    “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times…and Ben Sword is totally AWESOME!”

    OK I made up the last bit, but you get the idea :-)

    A few more goodies…

    When you’re on a guest blogging mission it’s all about “how much coolness can I put in my posts”… so with that in mind I decided to make you another video packed with all the little details you’re going to need to get started with your promotion:


    …and if at this point you’re thinking “Oh yeah, like I’m really going to do my full time job and be a dedicated guest blogger as well”…

    …then below is a little process I’ve been using to get up at 4.45am every morning giving me plenty of time to work before my two year old son stage dives out of the cot onto my head, while still swinging his guitar!

    And Finally…

    Whoa we made it, thanks for sticking with me!

    You’ll remember that right at the start of this post I mentioned a book I’ve been working on to seek out smart bloggers and grill them for advice.

    And just for kicks…you can download a full free copy of that below.

    Click on the book to download:

    Once you’re done with this lesson I’d love you to leave me a comment and let me know how you plan to use guest blogging in your marketing plan, or what you’ve been doing to build a buzz around your music recently.

    49 Female Music Entrepreneurs Share Their Best Advice (Part 2)

    49 Female Music Entrepreneurs Share Their Best Advice (Part 2)


    It’s been a minute since the first batch of fierce, fabulous, female music business entrepreneurs showed up on my blog, and as you can see it was worth the wait. I’m thrilled to be showcasing now over 100 women.

    Please share this, retweet this and feel free to repost on your own blogs.

    With Love,




    The Three Ps


    Christine Ben Ameh
    “The 3 PS- 1. Patience. 2. Perseverance. 3.Practice (Makes perfect).”
    Recording Artist/Songwriter

    Be Bold


    Carsie Blanton
    “Be excellent, be committed, be bold.”
    Indie Singer/ Songwriter

    Don’t Fear Failure

    Violinist_Singer_Roswitha_aka_Queen_Rose_Destiny_2013_promo2_Back pic

    Roswitha Bartussek
    “Envision your destiny and take small daily steps towards it. Don’t be afraid to fail, the more often you fail the more likely you will succeed. Be your authentic self, don’t try to fit in, carve out your niche.”

    Artist, CEO of Queen Rose, Inc.

    Be Present

    annklein 89_2 2

    Ann Klein
    “Make the very best of where you are; it’ll take you where you want to go.”
    Artist (singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist)

    The Truth Will Set You Free

    Erin Dickins
    “ Tell the truth – in music and life – never sing a lyric that you wouldn’t have as an epithet. Never do anything artistically to please anyone else. It’s all you – be authentically you – in your passion, your joy and your dreams. Shine your light big and bright no matter how big the challenges. Love every minute of the journey.”
    (not just a) Jazz VOCALIST – Recording artist on Dot Time Records

    Dream Bigger

    “Dream BIG and often! Never let a little thing called life get in the way of your grandest dreams! If you dream it, put it out into the Universe, truly believe and work crazy hard to make it happen, your dreams can come true. Listen to your muse, believe in yourself, and don’t be afraid to be a pioneer; if it hasn’t been done before, pave your own path!”
    Award-Winning Pop and Children’s Musical Stories, Singer-Songwriter, Recording Artist

    Find Your Tribe

    Barb Morrison
    Barb Morrison
    “Work with people (whether it be a manager, a producer, an agent, a publicist or a record label) who GET you. Having someone fully understand what you’re trying to say with your music is crucial. It’s much more important than how connected they are in the industry.”
    Record producer & film score composer

    It’s Not All About You


    Cheryl Engelhardt
    “Your results are not about you- they show up when you create an opportunity of value for someone else. I use this nugget when pitching music-to-music supervisors, getting a film-scoring gig, when talking with a potential coaching client, or even when inviting a friend to a movie. “What’s in it for them?” is the phrase I have running through my head before making a request of anyone.”
    Songwriter / Composer / Creative Career Coach

    Don’t Let Your Ego Control You

    Trudee Lunden
    Trudee Lunden
    “ Don’t let your own ego supersede your humanity while building relationships or promoting your business. Although music is global, people in this industry travel in a small circular world. Music and creativity in general holds a valuable place in society, however, we’re not saving lives, feeding the poor or sheltering the homeless (unless donating our time, resources or earnings for these purposes).”
    Singer/Songwriter/Music Publisher

    DO Your Dream


    Bettie Ross
    “Do your dream:  Know what your dream is, and work hard at achieving it.  DO it, don’t just dream it.  Get really good at your craft, whether it’s playing an instrument or songwriting or singing, being a manager or an attorney, whatever it is.  And I mean, get REALLY good at it. Learn from each opportunity, even if it is not exactly what your dream is.”
    Composer, Keyboardist, Songwriter, and Music Engraver
    Bettie [AT] BettieRoss [DOT] com

    Anything Could Happen

    Sarah Petrella
    “If it can happen to someone, it can happen to you. We are all talented beings, and the winners win because they don’t give up.”

    Do What You Love

    Jeanna Isham
    “The thing that filters out the good from the great is stamina, persistence, and an undying faith in yourself that this will happen for you.  If this is what you’ve been put on this earth to do then do it and never stop.  After all, if you truly love it then it shouldn’t be about money or fame.  If you love it then you’re successful just by being one of the few that is living their love every single day.”
    Dreamr Productions

    Keep Growing

    Chaise Candie
    “Never Stop Growing – Developing your skills and talents should be an ongoing process. Immerse yourself in the industry and gain as much knowledge as possible. Be confident and proud of what you’ve accomplished yet avoid becoming complacent.”
    Singer, Songwriter & Performer

    Hard Work Pays Off

    Anne Laverty

    Anna Laverty
    “Work hard and ALWAYS be the last one standing.”
    Producer/Sound Engineer

    Never Give Up

    Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 7.13.07 PM
    Tania Stavreva
    “Never give up. In the music industry I find that there is always a path toward success that is not always easy. Facing difficulties and barriers is often disappointing but they make you stronger. Being able to remain motivated, inspired, passionate, creative and stubborn about your art and about your goal, that is what I consider the right path to victory and success.”
    Concert Pianist

    Give & Take


    Holly Brewer
    “There is a difference between giving and being taken advantage of. Find and define the line between both and keep it balanced.”
    Composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist and I co-own the record label Nervous Relatives Records (since 2002)

    Be Patient


    Leanne Regalle
    “There’s no such thing as overnight success. Slow, steady progress over time adds up. Craft your vision and keep working towards it every single day. You will make mistakes. Leave your ego at the door, be flexible, and keep moving forward. Your contribution matters.”
    Songwriter and Owner at Livin’ Out Loud Music, Blogger at Make Creativity Pay

    Be Your Own Friend


    “Your best investment is in a solid self-esteem and a goal that evolves you and others.
You’re the first person you get up with and the last you go to bed with for the rest of your life so better learn to become your own best friend. Without inner peace, money does not bring true lasting happiness.”
    Canadian new age music vocalist, songwriter, music producer

    Hit a Wall? Wait.


    Dee Handyside
    “It’s damn tough.  But when I hit a wall, I no longer continue to bash it.  I take a step back and wait.  A person, opportunity or event will come along and open a door so that I go through the wall unscathed.  I call them my ‘wall-angels’.”
    Owner, Performer

    Create A New Way

    Zoe Boekbinder
    “Sure, sure, heed good advice… but also find a way of doing it that is different than the way its been done before.”

    Cultivate the Powerful Women in your Life


    Normandie Wilson
    “Make sure to surround yourself with other women! Seek out women’s groups and the advice of women who are kicking ass and taking names. Remember that you are a reflection of the 5 people that you spend the most time around. Make sure those people are the top of the top.”



    Madalyn Sklar
    “Passion and persistence will get you far. Don’t be afraid to go big. Surround yourself with smart, motivated, like-minded people (join or start a mastermind group). Listen. Listening will get you further than anything else.”
    Founder, GoGirlsMusic

    Artist Management/Agents/Publicists


    Trust Your Instincts

    Carla Sacks
    “Don’t look sideways. Summon your gut and trust your instincts. Try to always do right, it will make you happy and happiness is contagious.”
    Founder, Sacks & Co. media relations

    Fame Isn’t Everything

    Hilde Spille
    “In the rock-music business, every artist wants to become famous, it seems. I
can assure you that success is not dependent on fame. Every step counts. Too
many people in the business still believe the myth that fame will solve all
your problems. Don’t believe that, it adds more problems than you can
    European booking agent, entrepreneur, personal e-coach for artists, and

    Stay Focused


    Susan Fontaine Godwin
    “Nurture your vision. Know that it will take longer to realize your vision than you expect, and it will look different than you thought. Know that you will encounter criticism, naysayers, roadblocks and delays, but it’s part of the process that will help form and fashion your vision into reality.”
    Founder/President of CCS
    @copyright_queen and @doingmusicright

    Respect Everyone

    Laura McKinley

    Lauren McKinley
    “Realize that this industry is ever changing and relatively small.  Not only should you respect everyone you meet and/or work with, but also you should always offer help where you can.  The people you help today will be the ones helping you tomorrow.”
    Owner, Clover Marketing & Management
    @CloverMktg or @LFMcKinley

    It’s Ok to Say No

    Leanne de Souza BW 06 Low Res

    Leanne de Souza
    “Never feel the need to apologize for life balance choices.  If you can’t take that Skype call at particular time because you are doing the school run, that’s okay! Just reschedule, don’t feel the need to justify and explain every reason and decision. Be vigilant.”
    Artist Manager

    Be True To Yourself

    Lori Bumgarner of paNASH Style

    Lori Bumgarner
    “Never try to do things exactly the way others tell you to do it or exactly the same way they did it. Promotion of your brand has to be done in a way that is true to you. Not every species of flower blooms at the same rate or under the same conditions!”
    Image Consultant/owner of paNASH Style LLC

    Kindness is Strength

    Natasha Bent

    Natasha Bent
    “Stay positive, work hard, don’t expect it to be easy, and always treat everyone with respect, fairness and kindness, even those that may not show it in return; that shows true strength.”
    Booking Agent at The Agency Group London office ( VP)

    Take Care of Yourself

    Jessica De Wal
    Jessica De Wal
    “Work hard to build your business but always make time to work on your personal growth and well-being. When I just started my own company I felt I had to put in many hours and had to be available at all times because my dream of running my own PR company was finally coming true. I never made time to take good care of myself and eventually became ill. Over recent times I have cut back my working hours drastically and am planning ‘me time’ again. When you’re feeling well, you’re company will do a lot better too.”
    Music publicist and owner at It’s All Happening

    Pay Attention

    Blair Clark

    Blair Clark
    “Pay attention ALL the time. The next big thing in social media, distribution, touring, etc could be right in front of you. Take time to keep up with what’s going on.”
    Artist Manager & Owner, Dance Panda Entertainment

    Break The Stereotype

    Carlson, Cameo lo-res2

    Cameo Carlson
    “Don’t allow yourself to fall into stereotypes. The music business tends to sideline women that are too aggressive in the “bitch” category and women that are too passive in the “doormat” category. Break the glass ceiling by being the most prepared in the room. Speak up and defend your positions passionately.”
    Head of Digital Business Development, Borman Entertainment (artist management company)

    Find Another Door

    L Muller

    Laurence Muller
    “When a door closes, never stand there like a dummy, find another door!”
    Label Manager / Manager



    Set Goals

    Kristin Yost

    Kristin Yost
    “Someone once told me that goals without deadlines are only dreams…dreams are important, but goals are what propel us to dream even bigger.”
    Author of “How I Made a $100,000 My First Year as a Piano Teacher”

    Be Grateful

    Adja Snyder

    Ajda Snyder
    “ Be true to your vision.  Have gratitude for all your blessings and let your defeats humble you and help you grow.”
    Voice Teacher

    Embrace Uncertainty


    Dr. Jill Timmons
    “Enjoy the process and remember, sometimes you build the road as you go!”

    Don’t Take It Personal

    Celia Slattery
    “Don’t take rejection personally. Keep working on improving your craft and persevere.  Sooner or later the doors that are closed to you now will begin to open — or you’ll find other doors, or maybe crawl in through a window.  Persist because you love music and you have a mission; not for any imagined pot of gold you think you’ll find at the end of the rainbow.”
    Voice and Performance Studio

    Music Biz Professionals


    Fans First

    Louise Dodgeson
    Louise Dodgson
    “Always put your fans first. Too many bands & artists are concerned with attracting the interest of the music industry. But the best way to do so is usually to forget all about it! Concentrate on your fans. Communicating with them and working hard to expand your fan base. Making the music and sharing it with people who really appreciate what you do is the enjoyable part. Your fans will help create the buzz for you and if you’re doing your own thing with a keen and constantly growing following, the music industry will no doubt catch up to you in due course.”
    Editor, The Unsigned Guide

    Slow Down

    Isabella Acker
    “We live in an era where everyone’s constantly bombarded with the invasive nature of technology and its demand for us to always stay up to speed. This constant connectivity can affect your ability to nurture your creativity. We must allocate time, even if it’s 15 minutes a day to stop, slow down, and get inspired.”
    The Black Key Group

    Make It a Win-Win


    Kerry Fiero
    “Strive to create win-win situations. That means every relationship is about finding a happy medium so everyone involved had something to gain. It is not about today…. but about tomorrow and the years to come when building a career. The win-win builds lasting relationships. Interns become bosses. Colleagues become friends. Strangers become allies. Every door that opens to your next great opportunity will be from someone you know.”
    Event Planner, Music Business Professional

    Be Positive


    Lynn Spin
    “Never get sucked into negativity.  Even though the music industry is predominately men, never believe yourself unworthy to be on the same level.”
    Vice President of JaHMa Music

    Female Power


    Kim Cameron
    “Never underestimate the power of female colleagues. They can be your most valuable allies.”
    Label Owner

    Know Your Data


    Velda Garcia Fayz
    “Come armed with a strategy based on data. Know how to collect it, how to analyze it and how to use it so you can make informed decisions about what fans want and how they discover/buy new music.”
    President & Artist Manager Battlecross

    Have Faith


    Jennifer Allison
    “With faith passion & action, all things are possible.
    Love changes things.”
    Founder & CEO of EXE Media Group
    Co-Founder of Love The Little Ones
    PR for Transcendental Music



    Melanie Ismail

    Melani Ismail
    “Remember, it’s not about how you feel, it’s about how you believe. Keep going.”
    President of MAI Productions

    Creative Entrepreneurs


    Listen to that Gut Feeling


    “Your business decisions need to feed your passion.  Everyone has ideas about what you “HAVE” to do to make it. If you do everything they tell you to do, you’ll end up hating what you used to love. Take their advice but listen to your own gut feelings.”
    Founder & CEO, Sceneplay
    Business Strategist for Creative Entrepreneurs



    Glory Reinstein
    “While you’re building relationships with industry folks, remember they are normal people with families and lives just like you and I.  Get educated, treat them with kindness and respect, don’t take “no thank you” personally, and above all, persevere!”
    Creative Liaison
    Bluebird (Music) Promotions


    Keep It Real


    Jennifer Sellers
    “Be sincere. Man or woman, your integrity in this business makes you stand out. Your enthusiasm mixed with a determined sensibility helps you tread through all kinds of obstacles and allows room for great success.
    Talent Buyer, Booker, Marketing Director, Social Media Director, Street Team Organizer, Personal Shopper, Office Manager, Event Staff Coordinator

    Be Fair


    Laurie Jakobsen
    ““Fight fair” – today’s seeming adversary could be your colleague tomorrow; you never know who you will encounter again in your life’s journey.”
    President, Jaybird Communications

    Find Your Niche: Go Deep – What Makes You, You?

    Today I urge you to dig a little deeper and focus. For example: A niche is not, “travel.” Instead it’s “European backpacking”, or “shamanistic journey.” Get granular within your niche. We’ve run entire content marketing campaigns around this concept and I wanted to share it with you because I think it will get your mind going about what your niche (or niches) could be.

    Dive deeper into exploring your niche by reading my latest article on the blog – click the link below:

    Does Your Business Niche Attract Your Ideal Customer

    Ariel Hyatt in New York City on 01/09/14

    Consumer Mojo

    Consumer Mojo

    Founded by 22 time Emmy Award winner Barbara Nevins Taylor, Consumer Mojo is dedicated to making complicated things like credit, medicare, immigration, ObamaCare, student loans and mortgages clear and easy to understand.


    Ester Nicholson

    Ester Nicholson

    Author, Teacher, Speaker, Musician and Entrepreneur, an acclaimed healer with a breakthrough spiritual approach to the 12-Step recovery process.

    Campaign Angles: Addiction & recovery, African-American, Book reviews, thought leadership establishment through content strategy




    An interactive guitar app that listens while you play your guitar, gives real-time feedback and offers over 100 exciting lessons including basics, soloing, chords, scales, and popular songs. Jamstar supports acoustic, classical or electric guitars with no additional hardware needed.

    Campaign Angles: Music Ed Tech, Social Media Management



    Bedloo is a two choice social voting platform, which allows for two items, images videos or audio to be positioned side by side. Users can then choose A or B and share their choices in sports music or fashion on their social networks.

    Campaign Angles: App Review, Thought Leadership Development, Web 2.0

    Jeffrey Straker

    Jeffrey Straker

    His piano-folk-pop-cabaret music is compared to a mixture of early Elton John, Ben Folds, Sarah Slean, and Harry Chapin. Originally from small town in Saskatchewan he performs over 100 shows a year across Canada.

    Campaign Angles: LGBT, Travel, Positivity

    Crystal Waters

    Crystal Waters

    International house music sensation and songwriter Crystal Waters became a household name in the 90’s with her slew of number one dance hits including “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless).”

    Campaign Angles: New number one Billboard single, EDM, Newsletter management

    Robin McKelle

    Robin McKelle

    “The most flavorful bucketful of soul dished up by a white female singer since Dusty Springfield invaded Memphis,” (Blues & Soul magazine) Robin delivers a contemporary blend of classic soul and R&B.

    Campaign Angles: Soul, Crossover-artist, Twitter & Facebook management

    Jitterbug Vipers

    Jitterbug Vipers

    Specialize in a beloved cult jazz offshoot called “viper jazz,” a screeching U-turn back to the party where jazz music packed the dance floor and dazzled audiences with brilliant streams of improvisatory musicianship.

    Campaign Angles: College radio, Licensing, DIY,



    Chaser Eight

    Chaser Eight

    North Haven, Connecticut rock quintet Chaser Eight vocalist/songwriter Audra and guitarist/songwriter Pat Walsh have nurtured an astonishingly sympathetic artistic partnership, playing together since the age of 10.

    Campaign Angles: Addiction, Positivity, In-home recording



    Founding member of Chicago, Danny Seraphine has been named one of the top 100 drummers of all time by Rolling Stone magazine; we were thrilled to help him bring his new project to light.

    Campaign Angles: Drummer, Classic Rock, Biography (Book Promotion)

    Mindy Gledhill

    Mindy Gledhill

    This indie folk singer-songwriter has generated millions of organic views on YouTube and built up a loyal following and she has also been a guest vocalist with DJ Kaskade.

    Campaign Angles: Crowd-funding, Music Industry

    6 Steps to Start Building Your Brand on Pinterest

    6 Steps to Start Building Your Brand on Pinterest

    Image Credit (CC):

    Image Credit (CC):

    This article was written by Corie Kellman (@coralman808), Cyber PR®’s Director of New Artist Relations.

    Your goal is to be a full time musician, right? Or maybe you already quit your day job and this is all you do. Guess what– you’re not just a musician, you’re a business, so start acting like one. It’s time to convert your Pinterest account to a business account, if you haven’t already. There are perks to having a business account over a personal account, like analytics tools and coming soon, promoted pins.

    Why Pinterest? Pinterest gives you an opportunity to further build your brand image, show your fans what inspires you or what you find interesting, and helps drive traffic back to your other sites, like your webstore, newsletter signup, or other socials (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blog etc.) It’s a great place to build your lifestyle branding.

    Here are 6 steps to get you started:

    1. Pinterest for Business

    Sign up for a Pinterest for business account or convert your current account to one at and create a profile. Be sure to use an image or photo people will recognize you – remember you are building your brand!

    2. Themed Boards

    Create a few themed boards – shoot for 8-10 boards. Start with things you are most interested in (this will help keep the ‘work’ ‘fun’ so that you don’t quit using the network after the first few days.
    Keep your boards’ titles easy to understand, you want to choose words that your fans will search for or understand. For example, if your lyrics are heavily influenced by Classic Rock, title one of your boards that. Or perhaps you inspired by traveling, title one of your boards ‘Travel’. One of my favorite things to search for are clothes inspired by my favorite rock stars. If you have a fan base whose wardrobe or culture is inspired by your music or your brand, make a board to share where your fans can get that shirt you wore on tour.

    Ellen Degeneres has a great example: Ellen’s style is a huge part of her brand and she has created a board with over 220,000 followers.


    3. Start Pinning!

    Search for posts to pin that align with your board theme. Caution: This part is addicting! You may find yourself with lost hours of your life. Aim to have at no less than 5 pins per board. And remember when you pin, to edit the caption to be search-friendly and personal.

    4. Add pins that link back to your sites

    You can add a content to the site by clicking the “+” icon in the upper right-hand area of the Pinterest homepage. This is a prime opportunity for you to link it back to where you want to see traffic increase (your blog, webstore or newsletter signup for example.) It will become a pin that other users can share with their followers – remember to make the content pin-teresting.

    Whole Foods Market does a great job of making thier content pin-teresting and linking it back to their site. Take a look at their Thanksgiving board:


    You will notice if you click through the Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake pin, it will take you to their site. On the website, you can see they have the Pin-it button for others to pin directly from their site.

    5. Follow Users That Interest You

    Friends, family, fans, other brands and celebrities will help fill your feed and inspire you, too.

    Here are a few boards you may like:

    The Rolling Stones
    Paste Magazine
    Ariel Hyatt
    NPR Music

    6. Don’t forget to engage with fans that comment on your posts!

    It’s an opportunity to build a relationship.

    Are you on Pinterest? What do you use it to search for? Who are your favorite pinners to follow? Share your experience below!

    How Do YOU Use Pinterest to Build Your Brand?

    Share your experiences and successes with Pinterest in the form of a comment below!

    Digital Media Deconstructed: Jonathan Sexton of Bandposters

    Digital Media Deconstructed: Jonathan Sexton of Bandposters


    For this month’s edition of our Digital Media Deconstructed series, we’ve invited a good friend, Wes Davenport, to take the reins in an interview with Bandposters co-founder, Jonathan Sexton.

    Wes Davenport is a marketer, manager, and publicist based in Nashville, TN. He writes about ways musicians can thrive at Follow him on Twitter @wesdavenport for more music industry insights.


    Musician and ArtistGrowth co-founder Jonathan Sexton was tired of spending too much time creating, printing, and shipping posters for gigs. So he partnered with co-founder Mike Fabio and Back Porch Group, a music business think tank, to develop a solution: Bandposters.

    Jonathan, now Bandposters CEO, chats about saving musicians time, partnering with other companies, and whether putting cows on gig flyers is a good idea.

    Bandposters and Back Porch Group are fairly new entities. What are you trying to accomplish?

    I think the idea of both companies is to find solutions to nagging problems for artists, and for the music and entertainment business at large. Bandposters specifically isn’t built to shake the earth, rather its built to do one thing really well–Do we have a million ideas on where to take it from here? Of course we do and in time we will, but in time our first goal remains simple: solve a problem, ease some pain.

    What problems does Bandposters solve? How did your team identify those problems?

    The problem Bandposters solves is one we’ve both had for years as artists and managers. Sending posters is something that is almost always required by venues, and it is a time consuming headache. Generally speaking, the pre-Bandposters postering process works like this: Someone in the band gets a designer or designs a poster, then they get hundreds of copies made with a blank space on the bottom so that important gig info (date, venue, time ticket price) can be handwritten with a Sharpie on every. Single. Poster. After a trip to Office Max for some giant envelopes to mail them in (11×17 posters), the artist has to Google every address and fill out each envelope by hand, lick stamps, and THEN hop back in the car, drive down to the post office, and stand in line before paying.

    Bandposters takes care of all this in about 90 seconds.

    Going forward, we’re looking at tackling the street team problem. It remains difficult to get the word about your shows in towns that you don’t live in. We want to solve that problem.

    What do artists need to start using Bandposters?

    A gig to promote! Plus, If you have a poster design you already love and use–great! Just go to, upload the image, and get to work. If you do NOT already have a design, our Facebook integration makes it really simple to import existing photos and images to make a new poster from scratch in seconds.

    What other companies are you partnering with and why?

    There are so many cool products and services around for artists, but one thing that continues to be a pain point is manually entering tons of tour dates across multiple sites. We wanted to address this out of the gate, which is why we have partnered up with SongKick and BandsinTown. Between these two fantastic services, we have literally hundreds of thousands of gigs covered. We’re currently in discussions with a few other services as well, but these 2 provide a great foundation.

    Many bands seem to focus most of their energy on digital promotions. What’s the value in a printed gig flyer?

    Digital Promotions and Printed Gig Flyers aren’t mutually exclusive. Both are important, and work together to make a great show happen. Bands should certainly have a digital strategy for promoting gigs (and soon BandPosters will help with that too), but there is still no replacement for a great looking poster on the wall at the club you’re playing.

    Do you have any favorite flyers? If so, what draws you to those?

    Americana songwriter Scott Miller recently used BandPosters to make some posters with a cow it. It was a cow from his farm. I loved it; it felt really honest. Really though, the best part is seeing all the different ideas and creative ways to use the service that I never would have thought of before creating it.


    Tell me about the pricing. How did you determine it? What kind of savings are artists looking at?

    $15 per show, and each show you purchase sends 5 high-quality 11X17 flyers on 100lbs gloss cover paper. It’s a reasonable price point, ESPECIALLY if you factor in the cost of design, but it’s also about time. You can literally send posters to 200 gigs in about 90 seconds. It’s adding years to your life!

    Is it possible for a user to proof their poster? What can users do to make sure they have the best looking flyer possible?

    Sure. Part of our process includes a poster review before checkout. So you can see what you made, how it will look, and make any changes you need. We knew this idea would NEVER make it if the print quality wasn’t high enough. So we make sure it’s great. Every time.

    Pinterest is Here to Stay! Learn How to Use It in Part 3 of Ariel’s Mini-Class Series

    After introducing Ariel’s ‘FTP Sessions’ mini-class two weeks ago with Part 1 on Facebook, we rolled out Part 2 early last week on Twitter, which you can find here if you missed it…

    This week we reveal part 3 of the ‘FTP Sessions’ mini-class series for you on Pinterest!

    Sign up for the FTP Sessions and learn the most powerful strategies for using Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest! PLUS – We are going to give you our free report “The Top 10 Mistakes Musicians Make That Turn Off Fans & Industry.”

    Sign Up Here for the FTP Sessions 3-Part Mini-Masterclass Series!

    Cyber PR’s A-Z Artist Guide to Halloween: from Apparitions to Zombies

    Cyber PR’s A-Z Artist Guide to Halloween: from Apparitions to Zombies

    halloween (CC)

    The Halloween season is upon us, and you can start to feel it here in NYC.  The air is cooling off, and these Park Slope houses are starting to dress up for the occasion.  The well-decorated houses are looking scary, and the half-baked ones are almost scarier… 
    We’re doing our part here at Cyber PR to get you into the spooky spirit.  Below you will find an eclectic mix of music that is inspired by the dark, the supernatural, and anything and everything haunting.  


    Mash On? More like Monster Mash on!  Check out the monster mix of this BluRum13 track taken from his album ‘Inverted’. 

    Brian Larney

    For years singer-songwriter Brian Larney had been a band guy quietly amassing a solo back catalog of exquisite pop-rock. From his latest release, “At The Starting Line” Larney has penned the beautifully written roots-pop song “Whistling Past the Graveyard”. The video above is a demo recording so be sure to listen to the final studio version here.

    Chaser Eight

    Chaser Eight

    Halloween is steeped in historical and Gaelic influence to commemorate the newly departed that have yet to reach the next world (heaven, sainthood, etc.), hence being before All Saint’s Day. In fact, this practice was to help loved ones reach their destination and to help keep bad spirits away. It’s also to commemorate the beginning of winter, or the “dark part of the year”.  In the spirit (pun intended) of this dark time (pun intended), a song like Addict is a perfect complement for the premise above… Check out Chaser Eight’s new ‘At the 426 EP’ here

    Elisa Korenne

    Eilsa Korenne

    And then there’s Andy the Lightbulb Eater.  He’s a real person (come on, could we make that up?).  In our eyes, that is just next level scary. Why is it such a dark world that Andy lives in?  He eats all the lightbulbs… obviously. Check out Elisa Korenne’s album ‘Concrete’ here

    Jody Quine

    Jody Quine collaborated with Sleepthief to write ‘Tenuous’, a song about a husband who dies and then stalks his wife until she is inspired to join him… the accompanying video is beautifully shot and the song is melodically haunting.  Check out music from Jody Quine’s new EP “Seven” here.

    Kelley James


    Kelley James’s music is a fascinating collection of acoustic guitars, hip-hop beats, thoughtful lyrics and freestyle flows. Listen to more tracks from his new album “The Pattern Transcending” here.

    Pete Calandra

    Pete Calandra

    The New York City-based composer and keyboard player has scored 40 films, written over 2000 compositions for television broadcast, including 37 theme packages, and performed as a musician in the Broadway productions of Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, The Phantom Of The Opera, The Lion King, and Little Shop Of Horrors. Pete Calandra’s composition above is the opening theme to the stop animation film ‘Halloween Pranksta’. Listen to Pete’s album ‘Ashokan Memories’ here.

    R Michael Rhodes

    Partnered with the National Runaway Safeline, R Michael Rhodes came up with the concept of the video for his song ‘Chasin’ Ghosts’ while at church; a father who never met his daughter is haunted by the fact that she’s runaway. Check out R Michael Rhodes album “Please Remember Me” here.

    Solveig & Stevie

    Who doesn’t love Zombies?  Well, maybe if you found yourself with a “walker” going to town on your precious brains, you wouldn’t be too fond I suppose… One thing’s for sure: nobody likes a Zombie Lover. Check out music from Solveig & Stevie’s ‘Zombie Lover’ here

    Ted Brown

    For those who get their thrills and chills from pure visuals, this video that accompanies ‘I Bet Myself’ by Ted Brown will leave you looking for that creepy carnival clown to appear around the next corner. Check out Ted Brown’s recent solo release “An Unwide Road” here.



    YUCA’s majestic rock n’ roll evokes the uplifting and otherworldly textures of Muse, Coldplay, and U2, but injects a propulsive drive that’s purely rock n’ roll. YUCA’s track above, “Skeletal Desires” is less about scary things that go pump in the night, and more about simply celebrating being human. Listen to more from YUCA’s album Rebuilding the Fallen Empire here.

    Interested in Working With Any of These Artists?

    All of these artists are available for interviews, reviews and guest posting opportunities! Please email Jon or Andrew for further information.

    Digital Media Deconstructed: Tim Board of Front Range Scribbles

    Digital Media Deconstructed: Tim Board of Front Range Scribbles


    This month we pick up the Digital Media Deconstructed series, an interview series focused on digital media makers and their own experience with creating a consistent compelling content strategy, establishing their own signature story and developing a stronger online brand, with Tim Board (@frontrangescrib) of Front Range Scribbles blog.

    Front Range RadioNot only does Tim run the Front Range Scribbles blog, a music blog focused primarily on music in the Colorado area, but he also runs Front Range Radio, a Blog Talk Radio show that continues to showcase the musicians he spotlights on his blog.

    Is Front Range Scribbles your first foray into digital media? If so, what was the inspiration? If not, give us your history.

    Yes it was. The blog really started out as a test for myself to see if I could just maintain it on a regular basis. The blog in the beginning had no direction it was a hodgepodge of writings, or photos. I would write basically whatever was on my mind that particular day. I then started a show on blogtalkradio featuring music and interviews with local independent artists. It was at that time I decided to change the focus of the blog to just writing about music. Writing about independent artist and their music, combining my blog with my radio show was an easy decision for me.

    Besides your blog, what other forms of digital media do you explore?

    My weekly radio show that can be heard on . The show is “aired” live each week and then listeners can download or listen the show via podcast after it has aired. My weekly radio show I feature music from a lot of the artist I write about on my blog.

    How important do you feel Internet Radio is for independent musicians? Why?

    I think Internet Radio should be very important to any independent artist. Internet Radio station’s formats are usually not as restrictive as traditional radio stations. Many Internet radio stations want to be different, want to play music that you may not hear on traditional radio stations. They are willing to take chances with an independent artist. I think the independent artist should really give consideration to Internet radio stations and realize the support an Internet radio station will give them is probably greater than what a traditional radio station may give. Internet radio stations can devote more time per show on one artist than traditional radio stations may.

    Are you concerned that on-demand music streaming such as Rdio and Spotify are a threat to iRadio stations and iRadio Djs?

    I am not. I think streaming services have their place in just as much as traditional radio has a place. Not every independent artist is on those services so I think the iRadio stations will still have a place especially for iRadio stations that cater more to a local scene. That is something I think Rdio and Spotify will not be able to do. The other issue is how long will many of the streaming services last considering not many are reporting profits.

    Front Range Scribbles has a focus on Colorado based independent artists. What are the benefits of focusing on the promotion of local artists?

    The biggest benefit is being able to see the local artist perform live and talk with them one on one. A live show give me a chance to hear more from the artist then what they have published on the internet or on a CD. Sometimes the artist will perform songs they are working on that is not available anywhere. An artist from another state or country I can’t see them live or talk with face to face. A phone interview is not the same as a face to face interview.

    Which social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) do you feel most effectively helps you to connect you with your blog readers? To bloggers? To Artists?

    Twitter seems the most effective platform to connect to artists, but I find that the blog itself connects me to the readers and other bloggers. The readers will leave comments about a particular article or they will email about an article. The artists I write about will tweet link out to their followers or they will post a link on their facebook page. It really seems like I have two different set of followers, the ones who read the blog and then the ones on twitter.

    What do you suggest to an independent artist looking for blogs to connect with for the first time?

    The internet is full of bloggers writing about music. Look at websites or social media sites of other artist you perform with or know and see if any articles have been written about them and by who. Look at sites such as ‘Indie Bus” once again see who is writing articles about various artists. Once you find some bloggers, get a feel for what the blogger writes about, genre, geographical artists etc. If you do contact a blogger, try starting a relationship first, don’t just email the blogger and say hey write about me or about my single/CD. If a blogger does write an article than watch for comments and respond. The readers will enjoy seeing comments from the artist.

    How do you prefer artists approach you who are interested in blog promotion or partnering with you in any way?

    The easiest way is to send an email to tim [AT] frontrangeradio DOT net

    Where can people find you online?

    My website is, my blog site is, and my weekly radio show can be heard Sunday nights 9pm Eastern on

    5 Unforgettable Fan Experiences, Part 3: Live Music and Album Releases

    5 Unforgettable Fan Experiences, Part 3: Live Music and Album Releases


    This article was written by Corie Kellman (@coralman808), Director of New Artist Relations for Cyber PR®

    For the last two months, I’ve been outlining my most recent top 5 unforgettable experiences as a fan in hopes that some of these winning concepts being tried out by artists at every level can be applied to your marketing strategy.

    This month continues the series with 5 more experiences that I felt were truly unforgettable, but this month I want to focus our energy on turning this into a discussion.

    Please leave us your experiences, ideas and feedback in the form of a comment below so that the entire community can benefit!

    Here are my top 5 unforgettable fan experiences this month. What are yours?

    1. During Your Live Show, Make the Connection to Your Real Fans

    If you guys follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you have no doubts that I am secure and comfortable about being a fan of Taylor Swift.

    Corie Kellman - Taylor Swift

    Naturally, I had to check out one of her three sold out shows last week at Bridgestone Arena. At most large arena shows it’s very difficult to make fans feel special or connect on a personal level, as there are tens of thousands of faces hidden and the performer generally can’t see past the bright spotlights on the stage more than the first few rows.

    Within the first three minutes of the show, Taylor passed her hat off to a fan in the general admission pit after her first song completed. As she coasted up and down from stage to stage, she gave fans high-fives and tossed out guitar picks. It was a great attempt to make a large show feel a little more intimate.

    2. Make Your Success a Success for Your Fans As Well

    Image Credit:

    Image Credit:

    Last month, Country star, Jake Owen announced a free block party show via Twitter to his fans to celebrate his number one single. These number one parties are a bit of a tradition here in the Nashville country scene; driving up and down music row you will see banners celebrating singer-songwriter accolades. Different to those typically seen here in town, Owen wanted to share the success with his fans, not just his industry team. 20,000 fans gathered in front of BMI for the free show and this party went down in history as the largest number one party Nashville has ever seen.

    3. Empower Your Fans to Share Online and Off

    Leaving Nashville Sunday night last month, a friend and I visited the merch table a week leading up to the Wild Feathers official album release, where they had CDs available for their fans early. I prefer to purchase vinyl and stream digitally, and since the album wouldn’t be available on vinyl for another week, I left the event with just a poster. My friend, however, LOVES CDs. . . seriously LOVES THEM. As she sat in her car and opened the album to pop into her CD player, she called me stressing not to pull out yet. When she opened the CD, there were two, one “to keep” and one “to share”.

    The idea was GENIUS! She came to the show on my recommendation and now she could share with a friend. It is a small offering from the band AND works out in their favor if when it lands in a potential new fan’s hand.

    4. Make Sure Your Fans Know Just How Important They Are To You

    Cory Chisel has a very charming and engaging stage presence– he’s the type of guy that is everyone’s best friend. In between songs at his most recent Nashville headliner for the Wild Rovers tour, Cory stops what he is doing and calls attention to the very excited woman who clearly wore her dancing shoes for a reason that night, saying into the microphone, “Some people come to your show that give a F***ing S*** and this is that girl…” He then looks her way and says to her, “…means more to me than it does to you.” He later instructs the bar to prepare a round of shots for the group of fans in the front.

    5. Don’t Let Anything Stand In Your Way of Connecting Directly to Your Core Fans

    I get the Hypebot newsletter, and they are an excellent source of information when it comes to the new music business. They post new content every day and even though I open most every email I get from them, it’s hard to keep up with all the posts; however one about an artist named Ryan Leslie caught my eye and I found particularly interesting.

    Image Credit: Ryan Leslie

    Image Credit: Ryan Leslie

    He has built his brand around being directly connected with his fan base with a large belief that staying connected with his core fans is more important than many other marketing techniques. Read about his story on Hypebot!

    What unforgettable experiences have you had as a fan?

    Share your stories and experiences with us in the form of a comment below!

    Music Marketing Essentials: Conquering Your Niche

    Music Marketing Essentials: Conquering Your Niche


    This is an article I wrote a few years ago, but we continue to have this ever-relevant conversation with our clients, bloggers and beyond, so I felt now would be a good time to update it.

    The internet has done a lot of wonderful things for musicians. By somewhat leveling the playing field on a global scale, musicians can now market their music and expand their brands further than ever before, quicker than ever before. Day after day we are inspired by the success stories of others who came out of nowhere, only to be the next trending topic on Twitter or the most viewed and shared video on Youtube… but there is a big piece of their stories that is typically left out:

    How exactly these artists got to where they are.

    Every time we hear of yet another artist who has broken through from obscurity to being reported by mainstream mass media, the success stories are typically coupled with ‘overnight sensation’, ‘viral star’ or some other similarly ambiguous (and unrealistic) term.

    The latest and greatest ‘overnight sensation’ is Macklemore who in the past year has conquered not only the LGBT/ Hip-Hop Alliance niche (among others), but the Billboard charts with his debut album The Heist as well. Of course, this story completely ignores the 8 years of hardcore dedication to growing his fan base, several mix tapes and even a music video that was funded through a Kickstarter campaign. Macklemore’s success story is amazing, but he is no overnight sensation.

    Believe it or not, almost every single artist who has found success online, virally or not, has had something in common. They targeted, and subsequently conquered a niche.

    For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a niche is simply a specific or ‘specialized’ market. In other words, it is not ‘the whole world’ or ‘rock fans’. A niche is a very detailed, smaller sub-section of a bigger market, but most importantly those who are characterized within the niche are far more likely to be loyalists than fans of a more generalized market. Not to get too ‘marketing-jargen’ on you all, but typically speaking, the more specific a niche, the more dedicated those within it will be, and visa versa, the more broad a market becomes, the less dedicated the fans will be.


    Plain and simple, if you really want the internet and social networks to become the success drivers of your career that you hope they will become, you MUST target and conquer your niche. Below are four very simple things that you will need to consider and map out in order to get yourself on track to conquering YOUR niche:


    Understand That a Niche Typically Starts Very Small


    The internet is and always has been about BIG ideas. By giving us a further reach than ever before, it has become second nature for us to always think on a global scale.

    This is a mistake!

    Remember that a niche can and usually does start very small, as in so small that it can be targeted locally. By working with your niche locally first, you can build up buzz in your area, making it easier to connect with all of the influencers in your area, opening up doors to connections with influencers outside of your area on a regional, then national and then even global level.

    An example that I always like to use when discussing Niche Marketing is Phish. Everyone has heard of them and they are widely considered to be one of the greatest touring bands of all time, but it is far less understood that by the time they were signed to a label and started touring the country, they were already local heroes, selling out some of the biggest venues in the area on their own. In fact, Phish didn’t even tour outside of the northeast until years after they had formed the band, because they found it better to target the local scene and conquer it first before moving on. By the time they left the northeast, they already had fans waiting for them in other parts of the country, because as we discussed, niche fans are more loyal. Their local fans loved the music and helped make sure the word got out.


    Know EXACTLY What Your Niche Is


    The more detailed an understanding you have of your niche, the better of you will be. As mentioned above, as your niche becomes a more specific section of a market, the more loyal the fans will be within!

    Now, your niche can really be whatever you want it to be (within reason – more on this below), so deciding which niche you fit into best is really up to you. But no matter what that niche is, you absolutely need to have a full understanding of the niche you’re targeting. Here are a few things for you to consider so that you can better define and locate your niche:


      • Demographic (age, gender location)


      • Similar / influential artists (remember to start locally, then branch out to the regional, national and global scale)


      • What are the influential promotional outlets?


      • Where do the fans exist online?


      • What blogs do they read?


      • How do they find out about new music?


      • Are they into fashion? If so, what brands?


      • What are their favorite hobbies?


    Now that you have the proper understanding of your niche, you need to seek it out and see if it is truly worthy. Some niches won’t exist online or at all in the way you hope and so the demand for your music just isn’t enough to get you on the map. Some of you will be lucky to decide upon a great niche on your first attempt, but some of you may need to test the waters until you find one that really works.


    Cater To The Needs of the Loyal


    I think it has been said enough times by now, but one more time for good measure: the more specific a market (niche), the more dedicated the fans within will be.

    So with this said, you need to cater your online presence, live shows, studio recordings and official releases, merch, etc. to the needs of the loyal, so that they will continue to support at a diehard level, evangelizing your brand and increasing the overall strength and influence of your brand. This is a critical part to successfully conquering your niche.


    Nail the Perfect Pitch


    Believe me, I am well aware that you probably dread having to compare your music to that of someone else’s. I’ve been there and I know it can feel demeaning to say that your baby, your creation, only just ‘sounds like someone else’.

    So trust me when I say that when targeting and attempting to conquer a niche, making a comparison to another band similar in sound or style to your own is a VERY good thing!

    By making sure that you’ve targeted a meaningful comparison, you will have an easier time building interested from perspective fans. Relevance here is key. As much as you may want to avoid the comparisons of sounding just like someone else, if you can compare your sound to an artist from the same niche, you will have an easier time attracting the RIGHT fans rather than avoiding strong comparisons, only to impress fans of the wrong genre or scene.


    Maintain a Consistent Presence


    In a way, niche marketing is quite similar to advertising.

    Most people are unlikely to become a fan of yours on the first sighting of your music, video or guest post. This is precisely the reason why you often see or hear the same advertisements over and over again. In advertising, this is called ‘touchpoints’. The number of touch points could be different for everyone, so unfortunately there is no hard and fast science that would allow us to say you need to be heard or seen 5 times per week in your niche for you to effectively conquer it…

    It is more important that you simply understand that one time won’t cut it. Most people are so overwhelmed by the number of ads, guest posts, music videos, songs, etc. that they are exposed to on a daily basis that it really takes several attempts for any single brand to break through.

    Within your niche, you need to be consistently present enough that people start to notice you, pay attention to you and buy into your vision. This ‘break-through’ point can take several months or even possibly years, so don’t expect immediate results. This was most certainly the case of Darius Lux, who we helped connect to the Gluten Free community through guest posting, and now 18-months later, has become a musician/ thought-leader being asked to take part in conferences, blogs and beyond!


    What Have YOU Done to Conquer Your Niche?


    My ideas above only scratch the surface… there are TONS of different ideas, strategies and techniques available to you to help you to truly conquer your niche! If you’ve done anything else than what Ive listed above, or have some feedback or questions about my ideas, please leave a comment below!

    The Musician’s Guide To Affordable Effective Websites

    The Musician’s Guide To Affordable Effective Websites


    This article was originally posted in 2011, but we continue to have this critical discussion with our clients, so we’ve updated the information below.

    A common complaint among independent musicians is that building a customized website is very expensive; a few artists showed me quotes of $5,000 for a website. It’s not 1997 anymore, and those quotes are not OK.

    An effective website can be created for $20 or less a month with no upfront costs.

    So for those of you who need a template for how to create an effective and affordable website, this is the article for you.

    Many artists drive themselves crazy building a website for themselves or their band because they have trouble keeping it simple, and this is the key.

    Your website exists to do two things:

      Number one: Help you engage with and make new fans.

      Number two: Make you money.

    That’s it.

    Here’s how to set yourself on the right path…

    Step 1: You must have a domain name. 

    To register a domain name go to (USA) (AUS)

    Register the domain that you would like to use.  I highly suggest a dot com (.com) with no slashes and underscores if possible.

    TIP: You should also make sure that the YouTube, Twitter and Facebook page names match the URL that you purchased.

    Step 2: Choose which payment option you would like.

    Pay As You Go

    A pay-as-you-go option with a web site builder can get you up and running very quickly and you won’t need a designer to build the site for you.

    Here are my favorite 4 in alphabetical order. All 4 have excellent call-in customer service to help ease the confusion.

    Bandzoogle –

    Their lite version starts at $9.95 per month easy to use and the first month is free!

    Hostbaby –

    Owned by CD Baby, you can store unlimited emails and send newsletters through your custom site. It costs $20 per month or $199 per year.

    Reverbnation –

    Reverbnation continues to te the one-stop shop for digital music marketing tools. Reverbnation’s Site Builder allows you to create a custom website that can utilize their full suite of tools, including Reverbnation’s Fan Reach (newsletter platform).

    Spacecraft –

    Spacecraft allows you to build a simple, highly customizable website with a responsive design that makes mobile browsing easy for your fans.

    Working with a Web designer

    I suggest or LinkedIn for finding affordable WordPress designers. Make sure you read the designer’s reviews and see examples of his/her work before you hire him/her so you don’t get any unpleasant surprises.

    TIP: Don’t pay more than $1,000 for a basic WordPress site.

    TIP: Don’t work with an “artsy” web designer who does not build in WordPress because he will give you a flash movie intro or a complicated site. If you want artsy, buy a fabulous new outfit, or create a physical piece of merchandise using that’s really cool, and expresses who you are, but please don’t be “artsy” on your website. 

    Your website must be clear and functional.

    Step 3: Build Your Homepage

    Your entire website should be easy to navigate with a navbar across the very top of each page so visitors can see it (not buried where they have to scroll down).

    Kent Gustavson

  • Be branded with your look, your colors, and your logo (if you have a logo) and, of course, a stunning photo of you / your band.
  • TIP: your socials should all match your site colors.

  • You should feature your name, and your pitch, or specifically what you sound like in a few words.  If you feel weird creating a “pitch”, use one killer press quote or fan quote, which sums up the way you sound.
  • Features a FREE MP3 in exchange for an email address
  • USE: Reverbnation, Pledgemusic, Topspin or Noisetrade

  • Link to your social media: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and anywhere else you maintain an active profile.
  • Include a Facebook “like” widget.
  • Include a Twitter stream updating in real time.
  • A blog feed / news feed, or new shows updating onto the page via widgets.
  • If you like sharing photos, a Flickr stream, which ports over to your blog!

  • Nav Bar elements / tabs:

    Annie Fitzgerald

    1. Bio/ press kit. For your press kits use Sonicbids, Reverbnation, or

    TIP: Photos/ Images. Make sure your photos really capture who you are. Make sure they have clear instructions on how they can be downloaded.

    2. Buy music – iTunes or a storefront

    3. Your tour shows or performances

    4. Your Blog

    5. Your Contact Info

    Make sure that you have your contact information with an e-mail address or a contact form there so people can contact you for online publicity, booking, or just to tell you they like your music. Don’t make it hard for anyone to connect with you online.

    After your site is done, make sure to keep your social media sites updated!  That means daily.  This way your whole site remains interesting and dynamic and fully updated.

    For how to do that please read my Musician’s Social Media Food Pyramid.

    8 Ways to Make Your Next YouTube Video Better Than The Last

    8 Ways to Make Your Next YouTube Video Better Than The Last


    This post was written by Corie Kellman (@Coralman808), Director of New Artist Relations for Cyber PR®

    So you’ve made a video… Now what? Take into consideration these 8 tips to optimizing your video’s potential on YouTube.

    1. Your TITLE is important!

    Believe it or not, your title can make or break your video– when people are searching for things to watch, you want your video to come up for them to view!

    Keep it focused! Try this format (as applicable):
    [Song Title] [Short Description] [Original Artist Name] [Your Band Name]

    For example, if you have done a cover song of “We Are Never Getting Back Together”, a great title would be:

    We Are Never Getting Back Together Taylor Swift Cover by Corie

    Think of what people might ask when searching for something. Questions begin with Who, What, When, Where and Why – so when applicable, answer these questions right in the title!

    On August 28th, when I YouTubed We Are Never Getting Back Together in the search bar this is what I saw:

    Taylor Swift

    First you see Taylor Swift’s official video, followed by two other videos before her official lyric video!

    FUN FACT: There are times when official artist videos are not licensed to view in other countries. Where the official video is not available for viewing, yours may be the first (or only) option for a fan in that area to listen to the song!

    2. Write a description to your video with RELEVANT INFORMATION!

    You want your description to have keywords that improve your ability to show up in fan (and potential fan) searches and it should be thorough– but you don’t need to include the entire kitchen sink! Make a description that describes the video and who you are.

    FUN FACT: There’s a tool that helps you come up with relevant keywords; available straigh from the source! CLICK HERE TO USE YOUTUBE’S KEYWORD SUGGESTION TOOL

    Only a portion of the description shows to your audience before requiring them to use the drop down to continue reading so keep the important items at the top, like your website url, for example.

    3. Tag and Categorize your video!

    Choose a category that best fits your video for most of you. I’d imagine this will end up being Music, but MAYBE you have a niche-focused video that fits into a different category like Comedy, just make sure whatever you choose what BEST fits the videos content.

    Tags further support your search rank and are a part of the equation to better visibility. Use short phrases and descriptive keywords here– YouTube will auto-generate some from the way you titled your video. Add and remove as you feel necessary. Make sure your brand or artist name is a tag, also.

    4. Choose a good thumbnail for your video!

    YouTube is a visual network, so the way your video looks as it is sitting there in the search results matters. Don’t let your video have the moment in between a word with your mouth wide open, eyes closed be what is default as your thumbnail.

    YouTube will present you with a few options from your video to choose from OR you can upload a custom thumbnail to further support your brand.

    5. Use the Annotations to promote a Call to Action!

    You have probably seen these if you have watched a handful of videos– these are the speech bubbles, text boxes and spotlights that show up on top of the video; sometimes hyperlinked to something else. This is a great place to ask your fans to do something, like Subscribe to your Channel, Follow you on Twitter, Like you on Facebook, or Sign up for your Newsletter, just to name a few. If your video is a cover, consider a link to your original songs.

    Brandon and Leah

    Here is an example, where Brandon and Leah place a thumbnail of their EP cover in the upper right-hand corner and when you hover over it, it prompts you to subscribe to their channel.

    6. Monetize your video!

    If you own the rights to the music used in your video OR have licensed the song you have covered, you can MONETIZE your video. That’s right, you can use YouTube to make a little dough while you expand your digital presence. Just be careful to make sure you are legally allowed to collect money for your content. There are guidelines, so be careful to follow them. Not sure what you can monetize, Click here for YouTube’s Guide.

    7. Publish and start promoting your video!

    You have spent all this time optimizing the metadata (yeah you have created metadata– bet you didn’t even know that is what you were doing!) to make sure it can be found, now it is time to publish your video and start sharing it with your fans. Share your video with communities who share similar interests, as well, to find new fans. Is your video similar or inspired by another YouTube video? Add a positive comment in that video and ask viewers to check out yours, too!

    8. Analyze and adjust!

    Is what you have uploaded not meeting your goals or expectations? Take a look at your title, tags, and description and make edits, if needed– you can edit these items any time you want! Maybe try a different type of video for your next upload.

    FUN FACT: We have a list of ideas to help you brainstorm on new content to try: 8 Killer, Cost Effective Videos to Add To Your YouTube Strategy

    It may take time for you to find your rhythm on YouTube, and if you are only interested in your video ‘going viral’, it may be time to adjust those expectations.

    How Did YOU Optimize The First Video on Your New Youtube Channel?

    Let us know what worked (or didn’t work!) for you in the form on a comment below!

    Digital Media Deconstructed: Clyde Smith of Hypebot

    Digital Media Deconstructed: Clyde Smith of Hypebot


    Last month, I began a new series called Digital Media Deconstructed where we will be interviewing digital media makers who are thought-leaders or trend-setters (or both!) about their own experience with creating a consistent compelling content strategy, establishing their own signature story and developing a stronger online brand.

    Clyde Smith - HypebotWe’ll pick up the series today with Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch), senior contributor to Hypebot.

    Hypebot has long-been established as a thought-leading music industry news and insights blog and for the last few years, Clyde has done an fantastic job shaping the content strategy and direction of Hypebot (along with founder Bruce Houghton, of course), picking up where former senior contributor Kyle Bylin left off.

    Let’s dive in to our interview with Clyde to find out how he came to be one of the driving voices behind one of the biggest and most influential blogs in the music industry.

    How/ why did you get started as a blogger?

    In 2001 I was writing about the local hip hop scene in Greensboro, NC. One of my pieces didn’t get published in a magazine and I decided to put it online using Geocities. That static self-publishing experience led me into blogging about hip hop using Blogger later that year.

    How long did it take you to establish your writing voice?

    To some degree every blog requires a different style. Since I’ve gone from arts and culture blogging into business blogging, all related to music, I’ve shifted writing styles.

    It depends on what I’m doing but if it’s writing focused it’s taken me anywhere from a number of months to a year to really settle into a specific blogging role.

    How important do you feel guest posting is to an effective content strategy?

    I’ve seen musicians, music companies, consultants and bloggers raise their profiles from guest posting. It can be a great basic awareness and branding tool especially if it draws people into your own media space whether your own site or social media account.

    For Hypebot, you often publish several articles per day. How often do you suggest a new / emerging blogger publish new content?

    I think most such decisions should be based on your goals. I write for a news-focused blog that provides daily news briefs and commentary so I write daily. A solo blogger focused on in-depth pieces might blog once a week and have a big impact.

    Every now and then a musician breaks their Tumblr flow of pics and quick updates to share something deeply meaningful that catches people’s attention and so their biggest impact might be once a year.

    But I think once a week is a good minimum and once a day is a good maximum unless you’re trying to build a daily news site.

    What mistake(s) have you made that have turned into valuable lessons for how you now approach blogging?

    In previous years I tended to get wrapped up in negative comments and blogging disputes. Learning to let certain things go and focus my energy in more productive ways has been a key longevity tool.

    Which blogs do you read on a regular basis?

    I find most of my news through Twitter and similar headline streams so I read blog posts more than blogs. I see content from music, business, tech and marketing blogs on a daily basis from a wide range of writers.

    Top Twitter feed: Adrian Fusiarski
    Top Blog: Both Sides of the Table

    What is one thing you wish someone told you about blogging when you started?

    Not to get wrapped up in the negative aspects. Of course, I would have ignored that advice!

    Where can people find you online?

    I post daily about the music biz at Hypebot:

    I’m currently most active on two Twitter accounts that link to related blogs.
    Flux Research
    Crowdfunding Music

    Best point of contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com

    Darius Lux: How To Develop and Dominate in a Targeted Niche – A Cyber PR Niche Marketing Case Study

    Darius Lux: How To Develop and Dominate in a Targeted Niche – A Cyber PR Niche Marketing Case Study

    Darius LuxBy: Ariel Hyatt & Darius Lux

    I love the story of Darius Lux because it epitomizes what we do here at Cyber PR®. We help our clients identify key niches and connect authentically to passionate fans. Passionate fans turn into paying customers, which is one of the hardest things to attain as an artist. How does one create those close connections? Let them into your life, and share something that people can relate to. Give people the opportunity to rally behind something that really hits home.

    I asked Darius to co-create his case study with me and he graciously shared his thoughts and experiences.

    Darius is an artist who is not unlike many other talented artists.

    “Darius grew up bouncing between London and New York and that mix of cultures clearly influences how he approaches songwriting. His music is a melting pot of styles, 70s soul, 80s EuroPop, and 90s hip-hop with strong roots in traditional singer/songwriter fundamentals. Contemporary influences include Maroon 5, John Mayer and Spearhead with elements of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and even James Brown.”

    ~ Description from Epitunes

    “Darius Lux has an incredibly captivating voice, and from his first syllable, the listener is caught…even better is the fact that he can span and mesh a number of genres in a way that seems natural. Rock, pop, and soul swirl in each track. The singer/songwriter creatively uses his music and lyrics to be uplifting with his songs, and it works.”

    ~The Celebrity Café

    Identifying The Niche

    When Darius came to us he had a video that we hoped would gain some viral traction. After several weeks of promotion it didn’t get the lift we wanted. This happens often in campaigns: We start off in one direction and then we find it is necessary to correct and continue.

    We started with a focus group with Darius on the telephone, and on that day he sounded different, and somehow more energetic. I asked him what had changed, and he confided in us that because of a recent diagnosis, he had begun a gluten-free lifestyle. He was feeling better than he had in a long time, physically and mentally. For my team a light bulb went on. I proposed pitching him to some gluten free, health, and wellness blogs.

    At first Darius was resistant.

    ‘What does being gluten-free have to do with his music?’ he asked. He pointed out that his music is not exactly about nutrition; after all, he is a pop artist.

“I had no idea that connecting to a targeted niche would be such a great way to establish common ground with people rather than just through focusing on my music. What we later realized was this laser-focused niche was wide open for me. No one else was in this lane.”

    We placed Darius on dozens of websites…

    Who were intrigued by his story and wanted to interview him about what it was like to be a touring musician on the road living gluten free. They wanted recipes, stories, and the BEST part was, Darius was the only musician being featured amidst nutrition and lifestyle posts. In my book, I refer to this as being a shark in a sea of tuna. It’s an effective tactic because now, instead of just being one of hundreds of artists on a site cluttered with other albums, reviews, songs and musicians, Darius was the only artist on these blogs who were featuring and highlighting him among fabulous relevant posts that already had audiences of established passionate readers and built in communities. Darius created original content and was the subject of lengthy feature interviews. One of the blogs dubbed him the gluten-free rock star and from there many more followed suit.

    Defining Your Voice

    Over a short period of time, he had to come up with a lot of unique content. This is where we initially get resistance from clients and this is also where what we do truly differs from other marketing firms’ strategies.

    Accomplishing this effectively and with authenticity took some effort on Darius’s behalf.

    We are happy to hire professional writers to write on behalf of our clients. However in the end this is our clients story and that story is always better told when it is in their own voice. Also the long-term benefit is seeding the Internet for future growth and development. These blog posts that took time, thought, and energy 12 months ago, are just now germinating and they will continue to bear fruit for Darius for years to come.


“At first it was tough to wrap my head around what to write. It seemed that there was almost no opportunity to talk about my music, however, I realized that if someone is drawn to me because of a common cause, chances are they’ll check my music out and with more depth than the average passive music fan does. What I also realized about this community in particular is that there is a lot of passion surrounding it. (It’s a new frontier in health awareness and so you are dealing with early adopters who are already using alternative/guerilla tactics to reach people). It helps to have aligned with this force rather than the typical music blog where it’s business as usual. As I connected with different leaders in the community I bonded with a force to be reckoned with in the community. Her name is Chandice Probst and she runs She is also the Founder and President of the Celiac Disease Foundation (AZ East Valley Chapter). Candice organizes gluten/celiac-awareness events all over the country tied in with major sports events. She invited me to play at the Los Angeles Expo where I performed before a Dodgers game, which was great. That was received so well I was invited to play the Phoenix event, and I now have a growing tour-base in Arizona and this market is becoming a new priority for me and has opened me up to a completely new market. This was all the result of niche-based target blogging. The lesson here is: All things are connected if we allow them to follow their course.”

    Watch Darius Being Featured at the first LA Expo on Gluten Free with Marie

    Managing Your Dedication To Your Niche

    Does this mean when you go to Darius Lux’s website that it says hello I’m the gluten-free rock star! No absolutely not. In fact, his website barely mentions this. Just because you decide to lean into a niche and you commit time and energy to become known in the community does not mean your entire identity gets given over to that specific niche. It’s meant be a supplemental and fertile place to connect with a tribe of people who are like-minded. The result is new appreciative audiences in less crowded marketplaces (being the shark). The end result is: Darius can now tour in a couple of markets where he had no fans and no exposure in the past, and he has a community of new fans he would never have met previously.

    Ariel: What has opened up for you since you started exploring this new niche angle?

    Darius: I felt so connected to my new community; I decided to create a gluten-free anthem for Chandice’s organization. She brilliantly helped me make this a crowd sourced participatory event by sending an online invitation her entire tribe asking for potential lyrics that relate to being gluten-free. I am now in the process of recording it. I am also talking to a few gluten-free brands about potential sponsorship and/or tour support as well as introducing gluten free beer options to venues that I play to support my fans and help the venues serve their potential new clients better as well – so it’s a win-win.

    Ariel: Do you believe having a niche-based tribe is something everyone should try to achieve?

    Darius: Yes, understand that timing is important and genuine engagement is crucial. Otherwise, people will sniff you out as disingenuous pretty quickly. I have been an indie artist for the last 7 years so a lot of what I capitalized on as far as building new communities was ingrained already. Lastly, I didn’t have any expectations when we started experimenting with connecting to this niche. This was extremely helpful.

    Ariel: How many Gluten Free Expos have you played since you have become known in the Gluten Free circles?

    I’ve played 3 this year with another 2 coming up, all in different cities. Currently, since it’s such a new frontier, there aren’t a huge number of performance opportunities but the ones I’ve played so far have allowed me to explore new live avenues and pick up new fans.

    Ariel: Have you met other “super fans” aside from the amazing Chandice who has really helped spread the word and evangelize your brand and your music?

    Darius: Yes, several, though I see them as a friends first and foremost (the rest just flows). It makes a HUGE difference having someone in your corner who is motivated by what you’re doing rather than just what can be “made” off of you.

    Ariel: You mentioned that a lot of Gluten Free companies have been sending you products to test and blog about – why?

    Darius: My guess is these companies are now seeing that they have a potential consumer base that is wider than they thought, and I have access to that fan base. Plus being dubbed a “gluten free rock star” can only make their product look cooler, so it’s beneficial to all involved.

    Ariel: What is your favorite Social site to communicate to your tribe and why?

    Darius: I flip-flop between Twitter and Facebook because I still find them to be the best and most connected way to reach people. It’s as simple as: If I’m feeling introverted I’ll use Twitter and extroverted I’ll use Facebook.

    Ariel: How important do you think your overall online presence is to feeding and staying in touch with your fans?

    Darius: It’s the only way to stay in touch with a certain kind of (connected) fan. Just as some fans only go out to see live music and don’t spend time online, I’ll play live shows for those fans. Hopefully, at some point these two groups of fans overlap. What I’m beginning to really appreciate is that all the online self-branding and marketing is actually a great way of defining and honing who you are and what you stand for in a way that was previously difficult if you didn’t have these tools and resources.

    Niche Based Articles

    Gluten Free Twin Mom
    Interview with a Gluten Free Rockstar- Darius Lux

    The Celebrity Cafe
    10 Ways for Musicians to Live Gluten-Free On the Road …

    Gracefully Gluten Free
    “Gluten Free Rockin’ on the Road” Guest Blog by Darius Lux

    Gluten-Free Pancakes
    (Cook Bliss Podcast) Episode 6: Gluten-Free Pancakes, Darius Lux, and a Chat with the Crispy Cook.

    Free Form
    Free From Gluten Free on the Open Road: A musicians perspective …


    The 1st time I started working with Ariel & Cyber PR was back in 2008. The Internet was kind of happening and MySpace and a few other sites were gaining momentum. The old model of the industry that I had known (at the major labels) in my past was crumbling I wasn’t sure what to do next… Ariel was a light in the dark and looking back she was clearly very cutting –edge.

    Everything she has been doing has not only proven effective but has become the new way of doing things; only she’s one step ahead, all the time ;)

    The success here for my team is that we help an artist identify a tiny area where there were fans and appreciative new connections waiting.

    Please Visit Darius Online:

    Darius Lux

    Artists Take Note: 5 MORE Unforgettable Fan Experiences

    Artists Take Note: 5 MORE Unforgettable Fan Experiences

    Fan Experiences

    This article was written by Corie Kellman (@coralman808), Director of New Artist Relations for Cyber PR®

    If you are new to this series, make sure you check out the first installment of “Artists Take Note: 5 Unforgettable Fan Experiences”. Since my last top 5, I’ve been to dozens of shows, read hundreds of tweets, and talked to many about their fan experiences.
    …And here are your top five this month:

    5. I had a happy hour drink with a drummer I met in Nashville and we of course talked music for a little bit. We had a conversation about the bands we were into when we were kids and our experiences getting autographs as teens; something that in our memories meant everything in the world to us when it happened. He shared a story about how in his teenage angst he wrote a letter to Green Day, stating something along the lines of “Your music rocks! Anytime anyone says you suck, I stick up for you and tell them you don’t.” (Surely this is not verbatim, of course) – And, he also asked them to send back a autograph. One day, he checked the mail and there it was–– an autograph from Green Day. It’s been over 15 years since this experience, but it’s a memory he won’t forget.

    4. Fall Out Boy played at the Ryman recently and towards the end of the show, Pete Wentz started to talk to the crowd. He thanked bands of his youth that he went to see as a kid that inspired him to start a band to be, hoping to be the next Misfits, and then he invited the youth in the crowd to start bands, and challenged them to be the next Fall Out Boy. He pointed to a kid in the crowd and said, “Yeah, you! You rock– I noticed you!” The guitarist grabbed a few bottles of water from near the drum kit and handed it down to a a couple of exhausted looking teens. Before leaving the stage that night, Wentz stopped to sign autographs at the front of the stage and threw his baseball cap into the crowd as he took his final walk off the stage. I just knew that those few things made all those kids night, and they will go home and remember it forever and someone in that crowd may start the next big punk or rock band because of the experience they got at that concert.

    Fall Out Boy

    3. I sat down with an old friend of mine in Memphis, TN before his show on his first southern tour. We started talking about his strategy. His band, SNAFU, is a trasher punk band, which I have absolutely no experience in. He schooled me, telling me in his genre to get respect, it was all about becoming involved in the underground scene and building fans one by one in basements and garages, and storage units. He talked about how every fan that likes the music means so much to the success of their tours. He told me that if a kid comes up to the merch table and doesn’t have the 8 bucks for a CD, he gives it to them for free. He knows the value of that fan’s word of mouth is more valuable than the $8 for the future of his band.

    2. Though a bit over-the-top and don’t encourage you to be giving your personal number out to all your followers, on July 11, Nick Cannon tweeted his number to his Twitter followers. When Jimmy Fallon brought up this stunt, Cannon replied, “That’s how much I love my fans. . . Call me anytime!” This is certainly out of most artists comfort zone, but the idea that he was ready and willing to connect with his fans is a great state of mind to be in.

    Nick Cannon

    1. Inc. Magazine posted the article “3 Superfan Strategies From Pearl Jam” noting their exemplary treatment of their fans. The article explains, that their team understood how important their fans are. They set challenging goals for themselves early on and, “Over the past 18 years, those goals have developed into a strategic superfan operation with roughly 200,000 active members.” The article also shares 3 important principles: 1. Invest in your superfans, and they’ll invest in you., 2. Trust your superfans with your brand, and 3. Never act like a rockstar. This article is a must read.

    What unforgettable experiences have you had as a fan?

    Share your stories and experiences with us in the form of a comment below!

    Sound Advice TV – Derek Sivers on Crafting The Perfect Pitch

    This video was originally published in 2008, but it still remains as relevant than as it is today (and still remains one of the topics I am asked about most).

    No matter what social network you decide you love or hate, or how often you blog, or how many shows you perform in a year, or how many different kinds of bundles you are selling through your website, there is one thing that is an absolute must that YOU (yes, you!) must think through first…

    What is your pitch?

    Every artist, band, entrepreneur, company and brand needs a strong pitch.

    This is your differentiator. Your ability to give people a frame of reference. Your verbal business card.

    OK enough said from me. Derek lays out the concept of The Pitch so beautifully here that I’ll leave it to him to take it over from here…

    Ariel Hyatt in London on 09/05/13

    Digital Press Conference 2013

    Digital Press Conference 2013

    Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 2.19.04 PM

    Due to your continual support and commitment to us throughout the years, we want you to join us for our summer 2013 Digital Press Conference (DPC)! This is an exclusive invitation that we are extending to our devote bloggers, podcasters, Internet radio station programmers, vodcasters, video show creators, online freelancers, and technology companies. At the DPC we showcase the top clients in our Cyber PR® roster who play throughout the day’s event.

    So what’s in it for you?

    During the event we have stations set up throughout the Cyber PR® brownstone to meet, interview, and party with our artists, and of course, us, the Cyber PR® team. It’s a great way to connect and acknowledge hard working musicians and new media makers in a social environment, so together they can capture exclusive content and create meaningful relationships.


    Wednesday, July 31st
    1pm – 8pm EST


    The Cyber PR® Townhouse

    389 12th St
    Brooklyn, NY 11215


    Gatsby’s Green LightGatsby's Green Light

    • Banjo and rhythm infused Earth-funk laced with wit and block party performance fun.
    • A hefty 30% of their music sales go to sustainability organizations like WLA and NOFA. They play often in support of education and the development of a strong community and clean local food and energy supply.
    • Their mantra for music is to open our hearts and minds and propel us all forward in closer conversation and community.

    Spark & EchoSpark & Echo

    • Is just the chicest and sweetest husband and wife dollhouse rock outfit.
    • Their music brings poetry and wild stories from the Bible that have been tucked under the table and rejuvenate them for another generation.
    • Visions of sparkling wheels in the sky, hunger and thirst, and legends of love and compassion as visceral as death are weaved with enduring melodies and driving rhythm.


    • Coffee shop grooves from the beatnik era is the atmosphere Roswitha effortlessly conjures with velvety jazz and sensual dulcet vocals.
    • The flourishing mystique of her latest album has culled her comparisons to such iconic femmes of grit and allure as Sia, Florence Wench, Adele, and Björk to name a bare few.
    • She’s a woman with many footnotes. As an accomplished violinist she is a member of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, has appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, in the movie August Rush, and at the Latin Grammy’s.

    FireDean & The Brooklyn Garden ClubFireDean

    • The topic of horticulture is part of the extended metaphor that veneers the deep-seated sensitive meaning of their music.
    • FireDean’s voice sounds like Tom Yorke’s at his croakiest and the passion is reminiscent of Yorke’s more acoustic driven sounds on Pablo Honey.
    • FireDean & The Brooklyn Garden Club are a triad that use such a vast assortment of instruments such as the moog, lap steel, mandolin, glockenspeil, cajon, and triangle to advocate their identity.

    Scott KrokoffScott Krokoff

    • Scott Krokoff’s sound is the Advil for your worry. His chin-up kid attitude encompasses everything you’d look for in an ideal mix tape for a road trip.
    • Scott plays Americana-flavored folk rock wisped with a steady soul that recalls the cool down era of 70s when singer-songwriters reigned.
    • Two years in a row now Krokoff’s guitar strums were featured During NBC’s The Today Show’s 3rd annual NY Yankees Hope Week segment.

    Greater AlexanderGreater Alexander

    • Greater Alexander paints soft pastel musical landscapes with his honeyed croon and plush guitar. The strum of his guitar is like flipping through Holga photographs of lovers and loved ones.
    • The guy with the 30 different odd jobs and the realization that life is a flux of the highs and lows strings together beautiful odes to simpler times for our anxious tendencies and suffocated minds.

    Steve SchultzSteve Schultz

    • It’s captivating to hear the fervent soul of an average joe with 88 keys that hasn’t been tainted by the fame and the corruption of mainstream success.
    • If Ben Folds and Bruce Springsteen got together for a mid-afternoon jam hungover on diner coffee it would sound pretty damn close to Steve Schultz.

    all work and no play makes jack a dull boy

    Kent GustavsonSteve Schultz

    • Gustavson is a revivalist of the 60s Greenwich Village sing alongs of peaceniks in loft apartments. His bare bones style and ingenuity is a throwback into the contemporary folk canon of 20th century America.
    • He is the first to write a comprehensive biography of rock ’n’ roll progenitor Doc Watson. A Bluegrass musician whose influence has shaped such icons of modern music as Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, Ben Harper, and Robert Plant.
    • Gustavson’s biography <i>Blind But Now I See</i> has sold 5,000 paperbacks and 25,000 e-books and is a winner of the Next Generation Indie Book Award and a finalist in the Foreword Book of the Year Awards.
    8 Killer, Cost-Effective Videos To Add To Your YouTube Strategy

    8 Killer, Cost-Effective Videos To Add To Your YouTube Strategy

    This article was written by Cyber PR®’s Director of New Artist Relations, Corie Kellman (@coralman808)

    Saving MoneySometimes when describing the new music business to people, I say “The ‘music video money’ is gone.” This is the generalizing statement I use move people away from fetishizing the idea of high-production music videos they have memories of from the 80s-early 2000s.

    I get it: when I was a kid, I remember the days where I would sit in front of MTV and VH1 for hours and watch shows like TRL and Making the Video; the MTV Music Video Awards were one of the biggest shows of the season when I was a teenager. Those days are a thing of the past– the investment in high-dollar music videos are no longer (with the exception of a few, where the overly-apparent product placement cannot be denied.) It doesn’t mean that the music video is dead, though. It’s just as important as ever. Your fans aren’t expecting a million dollar music video anymore and video content can be an important marketing tool for your music or brand; the production and delivery has just adapted, and you should adapt, too.

    YouTube is the second largest search engine on the web. That means, that next to Google, YouTube is a the second most used tool when your fans (and potential fans) are searching the internet. Videos should be used to connect people to your music or brand and it doesn’t have to cost you a lot, and it doesn’t always have to be a music video, either. I get a question about video strategy on about 3 out of 10 calls I take with artists. Sometimes just knowing some different types of content you can post is half the battle. Here are some ideas to inspire you and get you started:

    1. Lower-budget music video for your focus track(s)

    OK Go – Here It Goes Again:

    2. Live videos to showcase

    The Wild Feathers: Got It All Wrong (Live):

    3. Fan-Content or Fan-Curated Videos

    Ellie Goulding – “Anything Can Happen”:

    4. Lyric videos

    Jason Mraz – I Won’t Give Up (Lyric Video):

    5. A day on tour, in the studio, or in the life of …

    The Maine – Album #4 Studio Update 12:

    6. Cover songs

    Look at Me Now – Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes(Cover by @KarminMusic):

    7. Special breaking news announcement like tours, album dates, & personal milestones

    P!nk Album Announcement:

    8. Tutorials

    The Hard Lessons Guitar Tablature Series: 002 BAMBOO:

    The possibilities are really endless, so get out there and start creating good content. See what your fans like the best and start to make more of those kinds of videos. It will take some time to get to know what your viewers like the best, but the point is– it doesn’t have to be expensive or stressful to use YouTube as a part of your marketing strategy; don’t let it be!

    Digital Media Deconstructed: JW Richard of Groove Loves Melody

    Digital Media Deconstructed: JW Richard of Groove Loves Melody


    One of the best decisions I ever made, when it came to developing my own personal brand, was creating my blog – not only did it allow me to write about my passion (music) and my budding area of expertise (at the time I started writing, I was earning my degree in Marketing), but it allowed me to tap into a community of like-minded individuals, musicians and entrepreneurs who were also forward-thinking in their approach to being an independent musician.

    Frankly, without my blog, I would have no personal brand.

    Thankfully my blog lead me to connect with Ariel and has resulted in joining her team full-time almost two years ago now. So this lead’s me to the introduction of a new series that I’ll be starting here on the Cyber PR® Music blog:

    Digital Media Deconstructed

    The concept of this series is to interview digital media makers who are thought-leaders or trend-setters (or both!) about their own experience with creating a consistent compelling content strategy, establishing their own signature story and developing a stronger online brand.

    Screen Shot 2013-07-18 at 3.51.34 PMWe begin this series by deconstructing a long-time friend and supporter of Cyber PR®, JW Richard of the Groove Loves Melody blog (@GLMmag), which is a Dallas, TX based music blog focused on interviews, album reviews and their well-known ‘TuneCrush’ series, a single-centric artist spotlight series. Let’s dive right in!

    When did you decide to start blogging about music?

    Been blogging since 2003, and have always written about music. Now if the question is ‘when did it become mainly music’, that would be 2008. While working on another blog and podcast that presented a very specific niche (African-American LGBT lives in Dallas, TX), I created a site called Mandrake FM. When that work ended, I joined with a friend to help with his music site, and that went until Fall 2010. Groove Loves Melody began in November 2010. I covered a lot of artists working with Cyber PR on all those sites. (editor note: THANKS!!)

    How did Groove Loves Melody start out, and how has it evolved over time?

    Groove Loves Melody has always has a simple premise, and that is to bring a spotlight to well-crafted music across genres. It’s built on a theme of relationships–the relationship of words to music becoming a song as well as my relationship with that song over time. Thus, a first listen to really catchy single may be what we call a “TuneCrush”. While I am the primary writer and editor for the site, I do have content contributors based in Dallas, St. Louis, and London. While I’m based in Dallas, it never has been a “Dallas-music” blog because we want to cover great music wherever it’s made.

    What made you want to become so actively involved in supporting independent music?

    As a vocalist myself and having been in bands of my own, I understand the struggle of writing, performing, and marketing your music, many times while holding down a full-time day job or full-time responsibilities (relationships, children, etc.). Many artists I’ve interviewed have encouraged me to have a deeper connection to my muse and I simply want to share that encouragement with fellow musicians and help build fan support.

    When you are looking for artists to feature, what qualities do you look for? What sorts of things should musicians keep in mind when reaching out to you in hopes to be featured?

    Because I’m open to various genres of music, I’m open in terms of the types of artists that I’ll feature. An artist with a good bio and accessible pictures and music is always appreciated. Having the bio gives me ideas for where interviews can go. Having their music at Bandcamp and Soundcloud is nice because those sites embed easily with WordPress. It’s also appreciated when the artists share any their features from GLM with their social networks.

    Starting a blog is like starting your own community or tribe. Do you interact with your community? If so, how?

    When I started GLM, I wondered if stand-alone blogs even mattered anymore. Since then, I receive verification from my readers that they do, however they cannot survive without the social networks. Facebook and Twitter continue to lead in terms of social sharing from my site, however Linked In has edged ahead in sharing on any business related stories (copyright, sampling, etc.). I’m also connected to Tumblr and G+, so I connect with readers there as well. Major kudos to G+ for the Artists in the Plus community as well.

    Are you a member of other online communities? Do you follow or look up to other music blogs?

    Two GLM contributors maintain their own blogs and I check out their work. Enda Guinan has for social news highlights and personal sharing. Rich Lopez maintains the site, I’m a part of a growing community of music bloggers at Google +, so many of the blogs in that group I do read from time to time. ( I’ve always respected the work of Soulbounce, BamaLoveSoul, Potholes in My Blog, and Gorilla vs. Bear. I also enjoy what Bandcamp has done with their new blog and podcast.

    Do you have advice for other music bloggers out there?

    Keep your ears open and follow your sense of music. Don’t feel as if you have to follow after what everyone is following after. There’s too much wonderful music being made throughout the world, so cover it to the best of your ability.

    Where do you see your blog in the future? Where do you see the future of blogging in general?

    Whatever the next phase of Groove Loves Melody is, a blog aspect will remain a part of it. The stand-alone continues to work for me because I control the editorial and, for the most part, advertising content. As for the future, just as Twitter has its own blogging platform, I could see Facebook developing a blogging format (perhaps taking the notes option and giving it a personal page), much like Google + is infusing Blogger with its services.

    Ariel Hyatt in San Francisco on 07/22/13

    Artists Take Note: 5 Unforgettable Fan Experiences

    Artists Take Note: 5 Unforgettable Fan Experiences

    Corie Kellman

    Let me introduce myself: My name is Corie Kellman. I am a music lover, working at Cyber PR® as the Director of New Artist Relations. I review artists project submissions and work to connect them to the Cyber PR® services that are right for them, getting them one step closer to their goals. However; first and foremost, I am a fan and I understand the value we bring to the success of an artist.

    Musicians would be nothing without their fans. Fans are just as important (if not more) than the artists’ teams. There are moments in my life that I remember that give me warm fuzzies and your fans should have these moments, too.

    Each month, I plan to post a top five list of fan engagement efforts that see while I am out and about, at shows, reading my newsletters, and surfing social media.

    I’ll start this month with my top five personal moments of all time that made me feel valued as a fan:

    5. Earlier this year, I pre-ordered Fun. tickets to see them at the Ryman Auditorium. When our tickets were delivered in the mail, so was a care package full of stickers and keepsakes. Included was a letter from the band thanking me for my support on the Some Nights Tour. Those tickets could have been thrown in an envelope with a receipt, but just a little extra effort on the part of Team Fun. made us feel like the thirty-something dollars was well spent before we even got to the show.


    4. After seeing Band of Skulls kill it at Lollapalooza 2012, I tweeted, “Dreamiest drummer award goes to the drummer of @bandofskulls” — they retweeted it and I felt validated.

    Band of Skulls

    3. As I was leaving the Kills show at Third Man Records last Rocktober, I passed by Brendan Benson (an artist I have worked with in the past.) I greeted him with a hug and said I was headed out. He asked what my plans were — as our usual conversations end, I answered, “probably just headed home.” He asked if I wanted to come backstage for a little bit, and I declined since I was with my friends and didn’t want to leave them behind. He was kind enough to extend the offer to all three of us. It was a genuinely nice gesture, treating us as them. I kept my distance from the band, keeping conversations to familiar faces– I am a huge Alison Mosshart fan, and even with all the artists I have worked with or met, I still didn’t trust that I wouldn’t trip over my own sentences.

    The Kills

    2. I was in line for the salad bar at Whole Foods and the person in front of me turns around with an apology for taking so long – to my surprise, it was Taylor York of Paramore. I replied (a little embarrassingly,) “No worries, I’m a big fan, take your time.” He proceeded to stick his hand, initiating a shake, asked me my name and where I worked. You could tell he was thankful I was a fan and I was thankful he was thankful.

    Whole Foods

    1. Ten years ago, I skipped my college calculus class to stand in the first floor lobby of 96.3 WDVD/93.1 WDRQ radio in Detroit waiting to say “hi” to Stephen Jenkins of Third Eye Blind. He signed my CD in the lobby and in great bravery, I asked if I could come up to the studio with him. Twenty minutes later, during his on-air interview, he was asked which songs resonate the most with fans at live shows. Stephen pulled me to the mic and had me answer, saying it was people like me who are the true fans that come to the shows and know best.

    Third Eye Blind

    I encourage you to check back in each month with more real-life examples of artists making a fan’s day. As a fan, I would like you to start to work true engagement efforts into your strategy – even a little bit goes a long way with your followers. Your fans won’t soon forget you when you treat them like your friend.

    Top 10 Cyber PR® Artists of Summer 2013

    Top 10 Cyber PR® Artists of Summer 2013


    Summer is officially underway!!!

    Oh, and if you’re in the southern hemisphere, HAPPY WINTER (yay?)

    Whether you’re out having dinner on your patio, having a cold beer up at the cottage, or catching some rays at the beach, the only way to make these summer traditions complete is with a summer soundtrack. We’ve compiled a list of 10 artists that have received the most attention from bloggers, podcasters and internet radio stations that are bound to be on heavy rotation all season long.

    Congratulations goes out to the following artists for their success, and a BIG thank you to all of our media makers who continue to support our artists.

    – Ariel, Jon, Andrew and Team Cyber PR®



    Drummer and founding member of Chicago Danny Seraphine is at it again with jazz-rock group, CTA. Composed of 8 legendary and award-winning musicians, CTA has been described as “Chicago on steroids.” Combining jazz, funk, and rock with lush vocals and hard-hitting horns, Chicago’s hits are reimagined and reborn.

    Elliott Wheeler

    Elliott Wheeler
    Elliott Wheeler spent the last year as music arranger on the Great Gatsby soundtrack, collaborating with the likes of Jay-Z, Florence + the Machine, Lana Del Rey, Jack White,, Fergie… the list goes on. He also provided original music for the summer blockbuster. Based in Sydney, Australia, he works in his own studio as a screen composer and producer, with genres ranging from large studio movies to smaller films, documentaries, commercials, and even theater.

    Ester Nicholson

    Ester NicholsonAs a teenage mom, Ester Nicholson was addicted to drugs, food, and abusive relationships. Twenty-five years later, you never would have guessed. As a spiritual therapist, she gives lectures and workshops based on the Soul Recovery program she developed; with which people have experienced 5 years worth of recovery in just 6 months. She is also a gifted vocalist who has toured the world twice with Rod Stewart and Bette Midler. Through her inspiring journey, she sure has come a long way.

    Jensen Reed

    Jensen ReedThis hip-hopper has been featured on several TV shows, like “Friday Night Lights,” “House of Lies,” and “CSI: NY.” With his new album, “The Left Coast,” he features an array of musical influences, and it perfectly captures Reed’s signature fusion of hip-hop and pop mixed with up-tempo beats and smooth rhymes. Most importantly, it offers a look at life in the 21st century. His self-directed music video for “Rocketship” is an incredibly emotional piece about losing loved ones to suicide. In partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, he hopes to spread the message that “there is always hope.”


    KeznamdiKeznamdi knew his path would always lead to music. “This is not a choice or a hobby for me, music chose me. It’s a way of life and the only thing I’ve ever known,” he explains. He’s a born and bred Jamaican, and comes from an incredibly musical family- his parents were lead singers of the internationally known reggae group Chakula, Jah Cure is his brother-in-law, and both of his sisters are in the business. His signature sound reflects his background with a blend of reggae, dancehall, bongo flava, R&B, and rap. His vibrant personality on stage makes him lovable by people of all culures, as he seeks to tap into a “feel-good” musical world.


    NMERCERWhen Naomi Mercer moved to South Central, California, she learned to use her new surroundings to develop her truly unique voice. Under the name NMERCER, the singer, songwriter, and rapper is quickly emerging onto the LA scene. With her well-crafted, playful lyrics, her self-titled debut album meshes rugged hip-hop beats, catchy electro-pop hooks, and mind blowing EDM textures. With comparisons to Santigold, MIA, Jessie J, Missy Elliot, Ke$ha, and The Pharcyde, her music is empowering and infectious.

    Robin Foster

    Robin FosterHypnotic and hugely appealing, Foster’s intense instrumentals are filled with cinematic textures, electronic loops, airy synths that bring a nondescript yet undeniable tension to his music. It’s fitting that he’s provided soundtracks for countless television shows like “One Tree Hill” and “Criminal Minds.” He’s even created soundtracks for top-of-the-line brands such as Hugo Boss and Kenneth Cole. This multi-instrumentalist paints vivid pictures of landscapes, smoky colors, and fast-paced city nights.


    Sara Nelms

    Sara NelmsClassically trained, indie-driven vocalist Sara Nelms creates music that all of us can relate to- the melancholy of lost loves, and the hope of a positive outcome in the future ahead. Her album “Lover No Longer” captures this spirit with tales of love, loss, heartache, and hope. She’s a woman of many talents, and enjoys much more than just music. She hikes, travels, and enjoys lots of chocolate, coffee, wine, and health foods.

    The Great American Robber Barons

    The Great American Robber BaronsEvery member of The Great American Robber Barons has had a stand-out career. Keith Dion made a name for himself as guitarist in New Zealand’s classic-cult band The Ponsonby DC’s, as well as San Francisco groups The Ophelias, 3:05AM, and Corsica. He has also recorded and performed with members of The Kinks, Thin Lizzy, Santana, Counting Crows, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, and more. He found Diana Mangano, former lead vocalist of Jefferson Starship, and together they make the artistic statement Dion has always wanted to make. His lyrics come from a place of loss- both of his parents died in Reno, NV, forcing Dion to face some dark times. The result was poignant, brutally honest music about love, loss, and social commentary.

    Zain Lodhia

    Zain LodhiaFive years ago, Zain Lodhia had never touched a guitar. It was one night in college when Lodhia and friends purchased the video game Rock Band. He was tasked with being their singer, and after learning the game’s repertoire he began to embrace a new passion for creative self-expression. He released his first EP in 2011, and earned favorable comparisons to OneRepublic, John Mayer, Maroon 5, The Fray, and The Script. His lastest album, “The Leap,” is radio-ready pop music filled with breezy emotionality and purposeful soulfulness.

    51 Female Music Entrepreneurs Share Their Best Advice (Part 1)

    51 Female Music Entrepreneurs Share Their Best Advice (Part 1)

    Female Entrepreneurs

    Today is my birthday and, each year, I love to take a moment to reflect on the year behind, the state of the music business, and my love for music.

    A few months ago, while everyone in the world I know went to SXSW, I took myself to a quiet beach for a few days to think, to write, and to and recharge.

    While I was boarding the plane, my friend Marcus Taylor emailed, asking me to contribute a quote for his article “30 Pieces Of Advice From Music Industry Entrepreneurs” I fired it off and thought nothing of it.

    During my break, I read Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ and it got me thinking about being a woman in this business. Then Marcus’s article came out and I was the only woman included in it. Oops. A wonderful and telling string of comments appeared and the seed for this article was planted.

    Here is the reality: Women are still under represented all over this business and sadly women in the music industry are practically invisible online.

    Go ahead…. Google “Females in the Music Industry” or “Women Entrepreneurs in the Music Business”

    Among the top hits you will find:

    The Music Industry Discriminates Against Women, Chapter 10 …

    Women in the music industry: chewed up and spat out? | Gigwise

    “Sexism in the music industry ain’t nothing new.” Why aren’t female artists getting their due?

    And few academic papers and theses

    The Google image search is even more depressing – you will find Brittany, Gaga, Beyonce, Katy (naked) and Christina….

    When I searched for “Music Degree Programs” I instantly found 204 colleges and universities in the US alone that offer degrees. I shudder to think how many young women are Googling “Female Music Executive” only to find Katy Perry’s naked ass (no offense Katy, your butt is great but… REALLY?)

    So I put a call out on the Women In Music List and emailed every woman I could think of and I asked for female entrepreneurs to SHOW THEMSELVES (and show they did) lo an behold 51 Women heeded my call

    I am delighted to bring you


    I’m not going to stop at just 51

    I want this article to be a PART 1 of many to come.

    Entrepreunial Ladies – I want to grow this list! Please email me:

    • Your Name
    • Your Title
    • Your Twitter Handle
    • Your Photo
    • Your Best Golden Nugget of advice


    And I will make sure that we ALL get listed and we all get heard!

    Here’s My Advice:

    “Shine a light on others as much as you possibly can. Ask how can I help instead of how can others help me, and watch the magic that will unfold.”

    Ariel Hyatt
    Female Entrepreneur in the Music Business since 1996
    Founder Cyber PR, Author and Cheerleader for Musicians

    Artists and Coaches and Lawyers


    Be Patient, Be Forgiving


    Zoe Keating
    “Remember that the world does not revolve around you. Be patient, be forgiving and be nice to everyone. Say thank you.Be prepared to hear “no” more than you hear “yes” and don’t lose sleep over it. When every door is closed you can always just make your own damn building.”

    You Must Love What You Do


    Andree Kaminsky
    “Believe in yourself! – No really, believe in yourself! Being an entrepreneur is hard. You don’t get true “days off” or “vacations” because you carry what you do with you everywhere all the time. You must love what you are doing or you will not be able to keep the pace in order to succeed. Believing in yourself and what you are building is the key to making it all worthwhile because you can then enjoy the process as well as the results.”

    Be Open to Constructive Criticism

    Heidi Drockelman
    “I’ve been writing artist reviews, profiles and show previews since 1998. Before and during this time, I also worked in radio and marketing. I’ve interacted with hundreds – possibly thousands – of artists, publicists and music industry professionals over the years. All of that experience boils down to the simplest and most logical lessons you can gain when you put your artistry out there for the world to hear: Be open to constructive criticism. Be authentic if you want to connect. Be courteous. Be mindful of how you portray yourself. Be aware of your strongest supporters (and equally aware of others’ agendas). Be grateful for your fans. Be patient when the situation requires it. Be bold when it makes you most uncomfortable. And, above all, be YOURSELF at all times.”

    Editor of

    Be Fearless Enough to Stay The Course

    Joyce Dollinger, Esq.
    “When building a business you have to think in the present moment and of the future. You need to pace yourself to create your big picture and long term vision. Simultaneously, you have to work with a sense of urgency and pound the pavement to swiftly close deals. Along the way, be kind to those on the same path; your competitors are also your peers. In this journey, it is not about being #1; it is about being persistent and fearless enough to stay the course, not quit, and accomplish your goals without compromise.”
    Entertainment Attorney
    Dollinger, Gonski & Grossman

    Do The Dance of Your Soul

    Gail Vareilles
    Gail Vareilles
    “Always remember why you got into the music business in the first place. It’s about expressing yourself and speaking from the heart and hopefully touching someone else’s heart. It’s the dance of the soul. When it stops being that, and thing aren’t happening for you, go back to that truth. No matter what ultimately happens, you will be happier if you stay true to yourself.”
    President of Sandshifter Music, Inc.

    The Key to Creative Leadership

    Julie Flanders
    Julie Flanders
    “I encourage my consulting clients to change one phrase “I have to do this” to “I GET to do this”! Remembering that you are powerful and you have choice is the key to creative leadership. While others complain, you can be creating and accomplishing your dreams.”
    Artist & Creative Leadership and Success Coach

    Let ‘What If’ Become Your Reality

    Janyse Jaud
    Janyse Jaud
    “Think of the impossible. What if… Yes I know, obstacles and doubt will challenge you and people will believe that you are out of your mind but just smile. Create that new path for others to follow, surround yourself with the best people, never give up, and that passionate “what if” will suddenly become a reality.”
    President, The Magic of Think

    Never Underestimate the Power of Your Intuition

    ilyana kadushin
    Ilyana Kadushin
    “My top advice would be, to use your Intuition and never underestimate it’s powerful assistance when Advocating for your self and your company. Also super important, is to reconnect everyday with why you created your company, your passion and connection to it, is KEY to keep it growing.”
    Partner, LythionMusic

    Build a Team that is Better Than You

    Cari Cole
    Cari Cole
    “You can only go as far as your team can go – no matter how brilliant you are. Build a team of people who are brighter + smarter than you, and are strong where you are weak. Use the Kolbe Index A before you hire and move on to new prospects when you aren’t getting results.”
    Celebrity Voice Coach & New Music Business Mentor

    Be Confident In Your Own Talents

    Miho Nomura

    Miho Nomura
    “Be yourself and have confidence in your own individual talents. The combination of simplicity, flexibility and understanding will keep you growing and through the exchange of perspectives with others you come in contact with, your own creativity will flourish and help realize your own goals.”
    President, Musikkverden Ent.

    First Impressions Are Everything

    Michelle Citrin
    Michelle Citrin
    “Let people show you who they are as opposed to you making them out to be who you are looking for. Pay close attention to how you feel when you meet someone for the first time, it’s a great indication of what you really feel about the person. As they say…First impressions are everything”.
    Singer/Songwriter & Producer/Composer

    Throw Spaghetti & See What Sticks

    Jo-Na Williams
    Jo-Na A. Williams
    “Being an entrepreneur is like throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks. You always need room for trial and error. However, keep yourself from “spinning” by having a plan and a system. This will give you the freedom to create.”
    Entertainment Lawyer & Business Coach,
    Founder of The Artist Empowerment Firm

    Plan 2 Years In Advance

    Jeri Goldstein
    Jeri Goldstein
    “Create career and booking momentum by planning two years in advance. Get two fill-in-the-date wall calendars to keep in a constantly visible place. Enter future events, conferences, festivals, personal events that you know you either will be attending or would like to attend or to which you would like to get booked. Begin surrounding these dates with other bookings, like house concerts and other types of gigs. As you focus your bookings further into the future, you will avoid the last minute empty calendar syndrome and spark career momentum by visually seeing future dates on a filled calendar. This is great for moral, great for planning ahead for conference discounts and showcase applications and great for keeping band members and team members engaged and committed. Start planning two years in advance and your career will advance to your next logical level.”
    President & Founder: Performingbiz, LLC

    Music Festivals/Events/Venues/Sponsoship


    Your Proudest Moments…


    Marcie Allen
    “Some of the most difficult deals you will work on will become some of the proudest moments of your career.”
    President, MAC Presents

    Learn As You Do… Just Make Things Happen

    Fiona Stewart
    Fiona Stewart
    “There is a simple truth about running your own business and this those who succeed do, they get out there and make things happen and keep making them happen. If you want to run an event then start one up. Go to a local venue and start a monthly club night, contact artists, do a bar deal and think of ways to promote your night. I know that sounds far simpler than it really is but in reality that is what it consists of. You will learn the skills you need as a promoter by doing it, of course you will make a few mistakes along the way and learn from them. I do not know any promoter of note who didn’t start this way. Learning skills in relation to finance, marketing and contract law will take you that step further and protect you and the people you represent. But ultimately it will be down to your personality, the relationships you cultivate, taking risks and a lot of luck. If after trying this you haven’t succeeded then don’t beat yourself up the reality is that very few do, but whatever the outcome the skills you have learned in trying will be useful to you whatever career direction you take in the future. ”
    Managing Director, Green Man Festival

    Never Be Afraid to Ask

    Ruth Daniel
    Ruth Daniel
    “If you ask in the right way and have an interesting proposition, people will always say yes.’ This is how I grew my organisation and managed to work with everyone from the manager of The Rolling Stones, Jarvis Cocker, Billy Bragg and many more amazing people to come around the world to help develop the independent music infrastructure.”
    Director, Un-Convention

    Break Your Goals Into Daily Tasks

    Shoshana Zisk

    Shoshana Zisk
    “Create an overall curriculum for your goals. Break it out into daily tasks. Then schedule them and do them everyday, on schedule. Otherwise, you’ll be pushed around by a tsunami of data and people, spinning in busy circles. Schedule yourself first, and do little baby steps every day, and you’ll reach the finish line every time.”
    SF MusicTech Summit, Co-Producer

    Learning The Art of Sales is Fundamental

    Caroline Bottomley
    “Getting your head around sales and how to make them is fundamental. It’s not about being pushy (it is a bit) or coercive (not at all), it’s all about helping people solve a problem they have, for which they pay you. So the problem you solve has to be worth paying for. My other advice is you have to be a fighter. Not in the sense of being aggressive, but in the sense of not giving in, not giving up, being determined, finding a way to be successful. ”
    Founder, Radar Music Videos

    Managers and Labels


    Start Executing on Day 1

    Emily White
    “As society has shifted from physical to digital across all mediums, I see nothing but opportunities for our musicians, comedians and even our firm’s athlete to connect with their audiences like never before. We don’t sit around and wait for magical things that may or may not come, we start executing on opportunities that make sense for our roster on Day 1. It’s a step by step process that intertwines hard work and almost ensures growth when executed on properly. I can’t wait for you all to see some of the larger picture projects we are working on that hopefully effects how we consume media on multiple platforms in ways that make sense for all.”
    Co-Founder of Whitesmith Entertainment & Readymade Records

    Start Local Before Global

    Cathy Pellow
    Cathy Pellow
    “Conquer your own territory before you set out for bigger pastures. 
As a label and management company I get a lot of emails asking me to check out a band that is on the other side of the world and who are not yet even headlining or touring in their own country. You need to make waves in your own region before the expense and work it takes to break a band over here is even a possible consideration. Grow locally and expand first. Don’t get caught up in trying to keep up with other bands you might see touring outside of your territory – this isn’t a race or competition. Patience, hard work and truly being a great live band every time you play will end up in those airplane tickets becoming a reality.”
    Owner & Manager, Sargent House Records

    Create Your Own Opportunity

    Yaya Rey

    Yaya Rey
    “Instead of waiting around hoping for an opportunity to come, create your own. Stop depending on other people when you can do it yourself. Get out there and network, build and maintain your contacts, stay active on social media, be consistent and pay attention. There are opportunities where you least expect it.”
    Founder & CEO, YA IndieGround House Mgmt, LLC

    Rules Are Made to be Broken

    Catherine Haridy
    Catherine Haridy
    “Always look to be innovative and exciting with everything you do in your business and with your clients. Rules are made to be broken.”
    Director, Catherine Haridy Management

    Personal Connections Are Critical

    Lisa Brigantino
    Lisa Brigantino
    “Provide your clients the personable engagement, care and top quality service that you expect for yourself. In an era of texting, IM, emails, etc., the personal connection is still the most valuable. You won’t build your business by doing one-off jobs. Treat your clients in such a way that they’ll continue to return year after year.”
    President, Hidden Pond Productions, Inc.

    Think Outside The Box

    Cindy da Silva
    Cindy da Silva
    “Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Start with an idea, and then work out how to put that idea into action.”
    President – da Silva Artists, Inc.

    Lead, Learn, Listen

    Cookie Marenco

    Cookie Marenco
    “Lead your team and tell your story. Learn from mistakes and accept the consequences. Listen to everyone, especially your customers. They don’t care if you’re a man, woman or a goat, they just want a great product.”
    Founder & Producer, Blue Coast Records

    Never Work Harder Than the Artist is Prepared To

    Kerry Harvey-Piper

    Kerry Harvey-Piper
    “As an artist manager and independent record label owner, I only work with artists who are prepared to work as hard as I do. This business is about team work so pick your team carefully and never be frightened to ‘tweak’ the line up when necessary.”
    Owner at Red Grape Management

    The 3 P’s

    Karen Emmanuel

    Karen Emanuel
    “Passionate, patience, perseverance”

    Owner, Think Tank Media

    Artist Marketing and PR


    Always Reward Commitment

    Vickie Starr

    Vickie Starr
    “Always put your committed fans first, and reward them for their commitment. Launching a new product? Give your core fans (or clients) first shot at buying it, or better still, give them an advance purchase discount (or other value add). Reward repeat costumers, and find ways to let them know how much you appreciate them. Consumer loyalty is a valuable asset, and be a core goal of your business model. It’s the safety net that can get you through lean times, and the engine that drives a key component of any marketing campaign (and which can’t be bought): word of mouth.”
    Owner of Girlie Action Media & Marketing

    Your First 5 Team Members


    Corey Denis
    “Hire an experienced industry relations person as one of the first five team members. With or without technological advancements and revolutionary products, the business of art is rooted in relationships.
    In addition to building appropriate industry relations, this person will be instrumental in finding & monitoring your best & most appropriate beta testers.”
    Head of Digital Music Marketing & Strategy, Toolshed, Inc.

    Work Hard, Play Hard

    Cathrine Carter
    Catherine Carter
    “Work hard, play hard, work even harder, keep smiling, stay focused, continue to learn new skills, don’t take anything personal, keep hustling, get the job done, a sense of humor is a must, and always make sure you enjoy your work!”
    Founder, Funky Dumpling PR
    Founder, Red Lipstick Mafia Video Productions

    Technology Changes, People Don’t

    Alicia Yaffe  (1)
    Alicia Yaffe
    “My piece of advice is to remember that as much as everything is constantly changing, it is so important to remember the fundamentals. Technology changes, but people don’t, and the underlying psychology of what motivates people to engage with you and your music, remains constant. Make great music that makes people feel something. Find your people. The rest comes after.”
    CEO, The Spellbound Group

    The Art of Speaking

    Sara Jayne Crow

    Sara Jayne Crow
    “Think before speaking, and speak with conviction.”
    Director, Stray Poodle Media

    Always Listen, Always Ask

    Marni Wandner

    Marni Wandner
    “Never forget to listen…to your clients and customers, to your staff, to your colleagues…even to your own heart. And never stop asking questions – there’s always so much more to learn.”
    President, Sneak Attack Media

    No Slacking Allowed. Ever

    Peggy Dold
    Peggy Dold
    “We can never know too much. We must continually expand, evolve and educate ourselves so that we can be at the top of our game to best serve our clients, projects, and companies. No slacking allowed. Ever.”
    Founder & CEO, Navigation Partners LLC

    It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You

    Rynda Laurel
    Rynda Laurel
    “Your reputation and actions will say more about you than you ever can. Develop authentic working relationships with people and they will remember and respect you. Be confident without arrogance, be knowledgeable but open to learning, be steadfast in your goal but open to change. Ultimately, create a network of people who know who you are and like who they know.”
    Founder & CEO, 1968media

    What Is Your Company’s Value?

    Rachel hi-res
    Rachel Masters
    “Figure out your company’s values. It is a pain in the butt to do but is a critical need as you scale since it provides a foundational north star for you and your team. Afterwards, you will all know what the company is about and how you will be reviewed. It also helps everyone on your team to interview potential hires and select teammates who fit your ethos.”
    Co-Founder & Partner, Red Magnet Media

    Don’t Be a…

    Jen Long (1)
    Jen Long
    “I’ve been given a lot of great advice over the last few years, all of which I’ve kept close. You should follow your heart and find something that you love doing. Work as hard as possible to make that something your full time occupation. Don’t make excuses for yourself. Don’t blame other people for your failures. Try new things. Learn from your mistakes and listen to others. But still, the best piece of advice I have ever received is quite simply, ‘Don’t be a dick’.”
    BBC TV Presenter, Owner, Kissability Records
    Owner, Zero Core

    Music Licensing


    Find a Good Mentor

    Isabel Pappani
    Isabel Pappani
    “It’s important to find good mentors and people you can rely on for advice. While you should always trust your intuition, it’s vital to have a trusted network you can bounce ideas off of also. And don’t forget to pass it on. Be open to taking others under your wing.”
    Owner, Undercover Tracks

    Live Your Success… Even When it Hasn’t Come Yet

    Carolin H. Aubrey
    Caroline H. Aubrey
    “Tackle every day like you already have a million dollars in the bank. Live and breath your success. Even when it hasn’t come yet.”
    Founder & Owner, Suineg Music Group

    Relationships Take Time To Build

    Nicole Sanzio
    “Build relationships and realize they are not built overnight – and be yourself.
    As cliché as “Rome wasn’t built in a day” sounds, neither are business relationships. Some of our key deals are developed from relationships that we’ve built over time without ever having even known that it would later become a “business” relationship. Network and Be yourself – people will take you seriously and have more respect for what you do once they realize that the result in it can only reach a common good.”
    President & Founder, InDigi Music

    Smoke and Mirrors

    Katy Walker

    Katy Walker
    “My advice is to be very patient with the music industry. It moves very slowly. You also have to know exactly what you want, try to be very specific. You will get the right answers only if you ask the right questions. Relationships rule the entertainment industry, that’s also a no brainer but worth repeating. Its crucial to organize your contacts, and to connect on a personal level. People see through you like you are glass of water in this industry. It’s a world of smoke and mirrors, so if you are down to earth and straight to the point, people will really appreciate it, like a breath of fresh air.”
    Owner, Unemployable Music

    Music Tech

    Balance Risk and Process

    Judy Estrin
    Judith Estrin
    “By definition entrepreneurs are often bringing new experiences or business models to existing industries and often run up against people and systems that are protecting the status quo – even when it may no longer be in the industry’s best interest. To effect real change, you need to figure out the right balance of risk and process – where to work within the system and where it needs disruption. You need to be adaptable, without losing your focus. And you need the right mix of urgency that comes from the passion for change and patience to convince others to buy into your vision.”
    CEO, EvntLive, Inc.

    Trust Your Vision

    Katherine Ajk
    Katherine Ajk
    “You have to know and trust your vision. You will make many changes as you grow but you can’t waiver from your core values just to satisfy someone else’s opinions. Equally important is to enjoy the wins no matter how big or small. Entrepreneurship is a long hard journey – all wins are worth celebrating.”
    Vice President of Affiliate Relations,

    Be Adaptable, Be Prepared

    Maria Payden
    Maria Hayden
    “Be adaptable, be prepared! Things aren’t always going to go your way and you need to be able to deal with these changes on a daily basis. To be able to persevere or pivot are key to building a business.”
    Co-Founder, BandWagon

    Don’t Let Anyone Put You In a Box

    Ann E. Greenberg
    Ann E. Greenberg
    “Don’t let anyone put you in a box. By definition, being an entrepreneur means charting new territory, originating cutting-edge products and executing in ways others will resist. Don’t let anyone put you in a box – not your co-workers, not your investors, and certainly not yourself.”
    Founder & CEO, Sceneplay
    Co-Founder, Gracenote

    Fix a Real Problem and Tell a Story

    Brittney Bean
    Brittney Bean
    “Fix a real problem and tell a story. It’s tempting, especially in media, to build things just because the idea is cool or because you want to look cool, but that’s probably not going to stand up as a way to make money. Find a real problem people have, fix it and then tell a good story. Most people aren’t going to care about what you’re doing unless they can relate to it and stories are the easiest and cheapest way to do that. And don’t forget to make people laugh!”
    Co-Founder, Songdrop

    Have Genuine Passion for What You Believe In

    Sheryl Northrop
    “Have genuine passion for what you do and believe in yourself.
    If you have passion for what you do, you’ll look forward to each new day as a challenge and know that you can accomplish something amazing. Believe in yourself and trust in your instincts will help you make the right decisions when confronted with difficult challenges and unexpected situations.”
    NorthStar Entertainment

    Passion Trumps Perfect

    Lenise Bent
    “Be authentic, be honest. Always treat everyone like you want to be treated, you never know who you’re sitting next to on the bus. Be true to yourself, make sure you are doing what you want to do and for the right reasons. Love what you do. Passion trumps perfect. Your enthusiasm will be infectious and inspiring to those around you. Do your homework and be visible and approachable. These things apply to anything you do in life.”
    Mixer, Engineer, Producer

    Don’t Underestimate The Power of Mentorship

    Jennifer Newman Sharpe
    “Seek out mentors and give back by mentoring those younger or less experienced than you.
    Mentorship has been such a valuable part of my career. No matter where you are in life or your career, you can always learn from others. I’ve been very lucky to have some incredible mentors in my past and present, and I try to give back by regularly meeting with and mentoring young attorneys or people thinking of going into entertainment law or solo practice. You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn, both as mentor and mentee.”

    Avoid Drunken Sloppiness

    Asya Shein
    “Delegation and teamwork are key, focus on what you are great at. Oh, and keep the alcohol at a minimal intake – as a woman, sloppiness is at times even more noticeable.”
    Founder & Publisher

    Thank You


    A few people went WAY out of their way to help me make this list as amazing as it is.

    A Big Thank you to:

    Marcus Taylor who inspired me to do this, Caroline Bottomely, the first responder to the original blog post who helped me gather up some amazing entries, Karen Allen, Brooke Segarra, Shane Harrington and Jon Ostrow who helped edit, and format.

    4 ‘Normal’ Challenges to Building a Strong Online Brand

    4 ‘Normal’ Challenges to Building a Strong Online Brand

    The key to establishing yourself online and within your niche, is building a strong brand. Unfortunately this is far easier said than done. The process of designing, building and nurturing a new brand means you have established:

    • A unique voice
    • Consistent compelling content
    • A trustworthy reputation

    The problem for most comes down to the simple fact that there is no single path to achieving any one of these things. And yet, you need to achieve them all in order for your brand to blossom.

    What works for some, may not work for others.

    What seems to be an obvious indicator of success for some, may be hidden for others.

    A ‘brand’ is such an abstract, malleable concept and it may be difficult to know if you’re heading in the right direction. In fact, it can be down-right frustrating.

    So the question becomes:

    What is ‘Normal’ what it comes to building an online brand?

    Here are 4 normalcies of brand building that, although may not give you the answer to the status of your brand’s growth, should give you the comfort knowing that you are not alone in your frustration and process.

    Defining Your Voice Can Take A LONG Time

    Whenever branding is discussed, one of the first components to be included is the idea of establishing a ‘voice’. This ‘voice’ must combine a powerful mission statement with a unique approach.

    It won’t work with just one or the other.

    This voice may not come to you right away. In fact, it is normal for this to take a VERY long time to fully realize.

    As Malcolm Gladwell has said in his book ‘Outliers’, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a craft.

    Once you do fully realize this voice, your focus and ability to create compelling content will be likely to become prolific.

    When I created MicControl, it took me over a year’s worth of daily blogging before I found my voice.

    I knew I wanted my mission to be helping musicians to advance their careers through digital marketing. But it wasn’t until I found the right approach of creating lean, skim-able, and most importantly actionable articles focused on social media marketing tactics, that my voice became truly defined.

    Once this happened – the content started POURING out of me. What once took me several days of sketching, researching, drafting, re-drafting, editing and formatting, now took me only a few quick hours at MOST.

    You Will Doubt Yourself… And Then You’ll Doubt Yourself Again

    Doubt HAS to be the number one killer of brands. I can say from personal experience that this was the hardest obstacle to overcome. And yet, I had to work to over come my own doubt about my brand on a weekly basis (if not more often).

    Because building a brand is so abstract, and can take such a long time to establish, you’ll often feel like you’re just treading water.

    This is normal!

    Because of this, it is important to find any successes, even if they are small, that you can not only rejoice in on a regular basis, but can use to keep you motivated:

    • A handful of Facebook ‘likes’ on a status update
    • A comment left on a blog post
    • A Re-Tweet or an inclusion in a #FF (Follow Friday) tweet

    These are all successes. Use them as indicators of your growth and realize that with each small success, you’re working towards your brand-goal of creating compelling content, a unique voice and a trustworthy reputation.

    There Is Often No Discernible Tipping Point

    All of the small successes that are discussed above will, as Malcolm Gladwell once again famously outlined, help you to reach your ‘Tipping Point’. That is, the point in which all of these small successes finally barrel over into your one major moment… in this case it would be the moment that your brand becomes established.

    And as true as this idea is, the more realistic truth is that often there is no discernible tipping point when creating a brand.

    To once again use my own experience as the example, after a year or so of working day-in-and-day-out of blogging on MicControl, giving guest blog posts to others, tweeting consistently and building conversations, my personal brand as a blogger had developed.

    But it wasn’t obvious to me AT ALL.

    I still dealt the same lingering doubt that I felt from the beginning.

    It wasn’t until one day when I woke up and realized that I had 3 separate article being published in the same day (one on my own blog and two on other highly reputable music marketing blogs) that I realized my brand was there.

    This was likely months after my tipping point had come.

    Although the concept of ‘the tipping point’ is certainly real, it may be more normal than you think for it to be hidden from you.

    Your Commitment to Engagement Will Be Greater Than That Of Your Fans

    Let’s face it, it is human nature to avoid disrupting the status quo. Very few people are willing to put themselves out on a limb, for the fear of being judged is too great. It is this simple reason that studies show people fear public speaking more than death.

    Now let’s take the idea of putting yourself out on a limb, and add in the fact that through social media you’re now doing this in a VERY public forum where anyone and everyone can judge you.

    If you consider this, it makes all the sense in the world why your blog posts aren’t being commented on, or your questions on Facebook aren’t being answered.

    People are afraid to be the first to speak up.

    Because of this, it will be absolutely normal that your commitment to engaging your fans be far greater than their commitment to engaging with you.

    It is only once you establish yourself with the trustworthy reputation that any ideas, comments and responses will be heard, validated and appreciated, that your fans will start to match your commitment to engagement.

    As my final self-driven example, I didn’t receive my first comment on MicControl until about 6 months into my blogging.

    In each blog post, I would include a clear Call to Action at the end, asking people to engage, but was always left with nothing.

    However once I started engaging with people through OTHER forums (i.e. other blogs where I had guest posted that already had an existing, engaged reader base), by responding to all comments, joining conversations that were good or bad about my ideas, and simply letting others be heard, the reputation started to build. It was this that lead to the same level of engagement I was achieving elsewhere to happen on my own blog, ultimately helping me to establish my brand a blogger.

    What About Building Your Brand Has Left You Puzzled, Frustrated or Confused?

    I am thankful enough to say that I was able to build a personal brand, and no doubt Ariel can say the same. Share your brand building challenges, questions or concerns in the form of a comment below and we will both weigh in based on our own personal experiences.

    3 Wise Monkeys Tour – Ariel Is Coming Back To Australia!

    3 Wise Monkeys Tour – Ariel Is Coming Back To Australia!

    I am thrilled to be hitting the road (or really the plane) with 2 of the most inspiring men in the music industry Tom Jackson (On Stage Success) and Ralph Murphy (ASCAP, Murphy’s Laws of Songwriting) to present the 3 Wise Monkeys Tour – a 3 day workshop that will travel to Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Adalaide CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.

    It will also be the international debut of my newly edited book Cyber PR For Musicians.


    $120 for 3 days or
    $50 for 1 day.
    SEE NO EVIL: The art of Performance with Tom Jackson

    Tom Jackson, world renowned Live Music Producer, author of the book Tom Jackson’s Live Music Method and the All Roads Lead to the Stage DVD series, is a master at transforming an artist’s live show into a magical experience for the audience!

    He has worked with hundreds of artists in nearly every genre, including major artists like Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Jars of Clay, and others, along with countless indie artists and bands, giving them a foundation and direction to define their unique voice and style to showcase their talent.

    As a highly demanded speaker, Tom shares his expertise at music conferences and events around the world – from North America to Europe to Down Under – impacting tens of thousands of artists every year. Tom has been guest speaker and on panels at New Music Seminar, Canadian Music Week, Hillsong Australia, CMJ, and more, as well as major music schools such as Berklee, University of Miami, and Anderson University.

    “You are only hurting your music career if you are not listening to what Tom Jackson has to say about your onstage performance. If you are a singer, performing artist or in a band performing live and can only do one thing to further your career, take my advice, listen to Tom!” Derrick Ross, Slaight Music (formerly with Feldman & Associates – Avril Lavigne, Diana Krall, Barenaked Ladies)

    HEAR NO EVIL: The art of Songwriting with Ralph Murphy

    Ralph Murphy, songwriter, has been successful for five decades. Consistently charting songs in an ever-changing musical environment makes him a member of that very small group of professionals who make a living doing what they love to do. Add to that the platinum records as a producer, the widely acclaimed Murphy’s Laws of Songwriting articles used as part of curriculum at colleges, universities, and by songwriter organizations, his success as the publisher and co-owner of the extremely successful Picalic Group of Companies and you see a pattern of achievement based on more than luck.

    Passion driven, with a desire to know how, what, when, where and who have him a formidable insider force. He is in worldwide demand as a lecturer on songwriting and has “guested” at universities, colleges, and professional songwriter organizations around the globe. Murphy has served as President of The Nashville Chapter of the Recording Academy and has been a NARAS National Trustee and President of the Nashville Songwriters Association International. As well as serving as Vice President for the International and Domestic membership Group of the American Society of Composers Authors an Publishers, he also has served on the Southern Regional Writers Advisory Board of ASCAP, the Songwriters Guild of America regional advisory board and is a member of NSAI, NARAS, CMA, CCMA, SAC, SGA, and ASCAP.

    Ralph was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2012. He also received the Jo Walker-Meador International Award, presented in Nashville by the Country Music Association for supporting “Country Music’s marketing development” internationally.

    SPEAK NO EVIL: The art of Promotion with Ariel Hyatt

    Ariel Hyatt is a recognized thought leader in the digital PR world. She’s the founder of a successful PR firm, an international speaker, educator, and author of three books on social media and marketing for artists. Her innovative and Trademarked Cyber PR® process marks the intersection of social media with engaged behavior, PR, and online marketing. Her groundbreaking PR methods—coupled with her vast experience as an esteemed new media educator—enable her to effectively and accessibly initiate her clients into the ever-growing world of digital PR.

    “There is a real science to effectively using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. But there isn’t a definitive roadmap; it can be confounding,” Ariel says. “I’m very good at making people feel unconfounded.”

    Delegating The Heavy Lifting: A Musicians Guide for Getting Help & Support

    Delegating The Heavy Lifting: A Musicians Guide for Getting Help & Support

    I travel a lot to speak at music conferences and I see this all of the time: Musicians squirming in their seats as I present ideas on how to improve their marketing. The idea of having to do one more thing is just unbearable to them, and they literally begin to melt down in front of me.

    One of my best friends is an artist – a dancer – and she literally takes to bed after she has to write a press release; it literally makes her sick.

    You will NEVER achieve the success you want it if you try to do it all alone and take on things that stop you dead in your tracks!

    I can not stress this enough: You MUST learn to delegate, and get the stuff that stresses you out off of your plate.

    Two issues are up for you right now from reading this:

    1. You can’t afford to pay someone to help you
    2. You don’t want to give up control  (so you continue to do it all yourself)


    Step 1: Figure Out What To Delegate

    The first step in your journey is you need to figure out what you want to get off of your plate. Is your Facebook Fan Page hogging up too much time? Do you need help with PR & Marketing? Do you just need someone to help you file papers and organize your home office?

    Step 2: Write A “How To” Guide For Each Task

    I urge you to take the time to do this BEFORE you get anyone in to help you! Take a few hours to write a guide on each task explaining it exactly the way you do it. This is called systematizing and it will be critical for your success in achieving your goals around delegating. Imagine that the person you are writing these guides for has never done any of the tasks you are about to assign. Type them out.

    This is CRITICAL to your success with delegating because when people are left to their own devices they may not perform in the way you want  and expect them to.

    Start With Small Tasks – 1 to 2 Hours at Most

    Start with small tasks that can be achieved in an hour or two to see if your new intern / assistant is up for it (not everyone will be good at everything) and make sure you ask them what they would like to focus on – Facebook or organizing your email list for example. Or maybe they will help pass a clipboard around at your show to help with newsletter sign ups.

    Or maybe they are creative writers or designers and their talents will be best used writing blog posts, or designing logos and graphics for your socials and website.

    Hold Them Accountable
    If they are working for college credit make sure they provide you with a spreadsheet or am hourly list of all they are doing, that breaks down their time and what they did with it.

    Inspect and comment on their actions – remember when you were in school you were graded and checked-up on. If you do not inspect the work that interns are doing for you they may go off course.

    Where To Get Good Marching Orders

    Cyber PR’s Sound Advice

    I have written many step-by-step guides on how to be your own publicist, how to get reviewed on blogs, how to get started on Twitter, how to install Facebook apps, (and 200 more0  etc. Look through my articles, have your new intern read them and follow along to the letter!

    Derek Sivers’ Blog

    Derek has many marketing tips plus a great FREE book to download to get your interns motivated.

    Chris Brogan’s Blog

    Expert social media strategist Chris Brogan has a great blog packed with ideas on how to create a social media strategy that works for you, and yes a great series of ebooks too.

    CD Baby Podcast

    Free audio podcasts for download crammed with ideas to get your interns motivated!

    Step 3: Go Get Help

    Here are some solutions to consider… this is my guide to getting the help you may need. I broke it up starting with free solutions that won’t cost you more than your time to options that you will pay for:

    Getting Help FOR FREE

    Get students to help you while they earn credit for school: &
    These websites will let you post as an employer for free – post as a record label (that’s what you are) and ask for help with PR and marketing. Offer college credit only. You will be amazed at how many young people who need to get credit for school are turning to these sites to find interesting internships.

    Your Local College Or University
    There are a few places on campus to try:

    The Career Services department
    Music School or Music Business School
    Communications  / Mass Comm department

    Look for classes on PR, marketing and online strategy. I suggest that you connect directly with the professors and leave a courteous message asking them if they require internships and if they have any students who like music and may be interested in working for your record label.

    There is always a class that is studying marketing and PR and students need to come up with “marketing plans” and “publicity plans” all of the time. Ask the professor to have the class come up with one for YOU as an artist instead of a hypothetical business. You will be amazed at what a team of young people who are not jaded by the music business may come up with.

    Photography and Film Schools
    Students studying photography would be delighted to take photos of a band – they get an assignment complete and you get free head shots!

    This also works for film students (free video for YOU).

    Production Schools
    Students learning about audio production may also need to record. Research which audio schools are in your area and call them up!

    Identify Your Super Fans & Motivate Them
    Ask your mailing list if anyone on it can give you a few hours a month assistance in exchange for free show tickets, T-shirts and beers at the gig.

    Email Signup At Gigs
    You can also create a column on your email signup list that you pass around at gigs asking – would you like to be in our virtual street team? If they say yes – add them to your team!

    Email Signup On Your Site
    And you can add a signup box to your website using a free widget from ReverbNation to capture your fans who may want to help you.

    Free Online Tools To Use


    ReverbNation has an entire street team management system, analytic tools and multiple widgets  that you can use for free to delegate tasks and keep everyone organized

    Noise Trade

    Their amazing tools  help you give away a full-length album, EP, live concert recording, acoustic set or single in exchange for for fan email addresses and postal codes for every download.  The best part is your fans can support you by leaving an optional tip.

    Paid Services

    In some cases you do get what you pay for so you may want to spend some money. This does not have to break the bank at all – here are some of my favorite places to go for paid help!

    Elance & Task Rabbit  •

    Both of these fabulous sites list service providers of all types and bid against each other (eBay style) to work for YOU!

    There are tons of categories, and you will find almost anything you need – graphic designers, copy editors, office assistants, writers, virtual assistants etc. You can set the price you want to pay. The best part is they both have escrow so if the provider does not deliver a satisfactory job, you will not release your money until they do!

    TIP: look at each person’s reviews and only use providers that get fabulous reviews and high ratings from users to avoid disappointments.

    Review You – Guaranteed CD Reviews

    I created this site to help musicians get one review at a time guaranteed from expert music writers – buy one or buy 10 and save a fortune in postage and PR pitching / following up agony.

    Hire a Teenager in Your Family

    Trust me THEY know how to work the Internet much better than you ;) again don’t set them off to figure it out on their own – give them a syllabus with steps to take.

    TIP: Buy them Music Success In 9 Weeks, it is my signature system that will give them a road map to follow

    Now go forth and ROCK your delegating and please post your stories in the comments!

    Here’s to your success!


    6 Key Tactics For Organic Success on Youtube From Hip-Hop Artist Rob Scott

    6 Key Tactics For Organic Success on Youtube From Hip-Hop Artist Rob Scott

    Rob Scott

    This article was written by our intern Benjy Jean Baptiste about his own experience as an artist manager.

    For independent artists, Youtube can be one of the most powerful platforms available for promotion and exposure. Of course, it is also one of the most difficult platforms to garner any significant growth and attention.

    This challenge was no different for 23 year old hip-hip artist, and Brooklyn native Rob Scott.

    As his manager, it was my job to figure out how to bring his dream to fruition. Without any assistance from record labels, we began to effectively use YouTube as a platform to get Rob Scott noticed.

    Within the first couple of months, it was painful to notice that his long nights in the studio would only result in his songs receiving 11 views. To make matters worst, the 11 views I am speaking about came from the friends and family that was in the studio with him.

    Initially, we would post his YouTube link all over people’s Facebook pages until we realized that spamming individuals was probably not the best way to gain true fans. We then decided that garnering views organically is the best possible solution. Today, he has accumulated over 235,000 channel views and has acquired more than 1, 400 YouTube subscribers.

    Some may wonder how so?

    Below are 6 strategies that we used to organically build Rob Scott’s Youtube channel from desolate to highly-trafficked:


    At one point, Scott would upload a video at least once a week. During one week we would upload a song with a cover art and a couple weeks later we would upload a music video for that same song.

    It is important to break down your material to get the most out of it. What I mean by that is, if you have a music video that you are planning to release, put out behind the scenes footage for that video, put out the song before you put out the video, or put out a snippet before you even release the song.

    Now you have three pieces of content all based around that one record.

    The more things you have to release, the easier it is to follow the rule of frequency. Evidently, it is almost impossible to acquire a great amount of views if you post a video once a year.

    There have been several rare cases such as the Harlem Shake video going viral without the use of “frequency”, but I would not recommend depending on pure luck.

    With Rob Scott, we created a schedule and began creating on a regular basis.

    Covers & Alternative Versions of Popular Songs

    Another step that Rob Scott implemented to reach his amount of views was re-doing songs that were already popular.

    Trey Songs released a song entitled “Can’t Be Friends” three years ago that gained a lot of commercial attention. While the song was still at its peak, Scott decided to re-do the song over with his own words and then shoot a music video for it.

    Because viewers would search for the original Trey Songs version and see Scott’s rendition, it gave him a better chance of being viewed by some of the fans of that particular record. To date, Rob Scott’s rendition has over 90,000 views on YouTube and is still growing daily.

    Raising Brand Awareness

    Raising your brand awareness is another way to increase your views and subscribers. Initially, Rob Scott started to do local showcases where we would promote his YouTube link after every single performance.

    He then had the opportunity to perform alongside major artists J. Cole and Miguel, which gave us the chance to promote our YouTube link to a much larger audience.

    Because we’ve secured a licensing deal with Extreme music, Scott’s songs have been featured on MTV and VH1 premiering on shows such as Washington Heights, Love and Hip Hop, Single Ladies, and Friend Zone. Once people discover an act that they’ve enjoyed, YouTube is usually the first place they go to find more music from the artist.

    Fortunately for us, that is exactly what happened.

    Creating Strategic Partnerships

    Another way to raise awareness is by collaborating with someone that has accumulated more views than you. When we were getting ready to shoot the visual for the Trey Songs “Can’t Be Friends” cover, we knew that we needed to collaborate with someone else, someway, somehow. We decided to use a friend of ours who had already accumulated over 50,000 views on her channel as the leading lady in Scott’s video. Once it was time to release the video, she directed all of her subscribers to our page to check out the video, which ultimately led our channel views to skyrocket.

    Fan Engagement

    Rob Scott never presented himself as the “unreachable artist”. When a supporter would leave a comment, he would do his best to show his gratitude by interacting with them. Clearly, he did not reply to every single fan every single time but as often as he could, Scott would make a video thanking all of his fans for the support that they have shown him.

    Youtube Fan Engagement

    He is currently working on new ways to engage his fans through YouTube, one of the ways being by creating a “who can do it best” contest challenging his fans to cover his material and awarding the winner with a spot on his channel. With this approach, fans will become more engaged in Scott’s music.

    Great Content

    The last step is to simply have great content. The better the content, the better your chances of organic success.

    Great content leads the viewers to not only view the material but to also engage by leaving comments. Scott has been praised endless amount of times for his musical abilities. In fact, someone on YouTube actually re did Scott’s version of the “Can’t be friends” cover that I mentioned earlier.

    Because the song resonated with someone so much, they felt the need to do it over using the same words and melody that Scott created. Great content causes supporters to spread the word about what they’ve just watched which attracts more viewers to the channel.

    Remember, word of mouth is the most powerful form of promotion.

    Determined to set the standard, Scott is working hard to continuously progress at his craft. Undoubtedly, Rob Scott’s journey has just begun and there is no question that in the blink of an eye, he will be at the top. He is currently recording his second project entitled “Divine Tragedy” which is set to release later this year.

    To hear Rob Scott’s music, please visit Youtube or

    Noel Black Music

    Noel Black Music

    A company that combines the ideals of an artist collective with the ambitions of cyber entrepreneurship. Their purpose is to support, develop, and produce professional opportunities for artists.

    Campaign Angles: Branding, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

    Zain Lodhia

    Zain Lodhia

    Chicago-based singer-songwriter whose breezy emotionality and empowering pop sensibility has earned him favorable comparisons to OneRepublic, John Mayer, and Andrew Belle.

    Campaign Angles: Development in their hometown – Chicago, Singer-songwriter

    Ariel Hyatt in Adelaide on 06/02/13

    Ariel Hyatt in Adelaide, South Australia on 06/03/13

    Ariel Hyatt in Melbourne, Victoria on 06/01/13

    Ariel Hyatt in Melbourne, Victoria on 06/01/13

    Ariel Hyatt in Sydney, New South Wales on 05/30/13

    Ariel Hyatt in Brisbane on 05/28/13

    Ariel Hyatt in Perth, Western Australia on 05/26/13

    Ariel Hyatt in Montauk on 05/17/13

    Top 10 Cyber PR® Artists of Spring 2013 

    Top 10 Cyber PR® Artists of Spring 2013 

    Goodbye cold, hello warmth! It is gorgeous here in Brooklyn today…

    It FINALLY feels like Spring.

    To celebrate the new season, today we shine the spotlight on the top 10 Cyber PR® artists on our current roster. With the level of talent we represent, this is never an easy decision… However we’ve compiled a list of 10 artists that have received the most attention from bloggers, podcasters and internet radio stations.

    Congratulations go to each of the artists below on their successes, and a HUGE thank you to all of the media makers who have supported (and continue to support!) us and our artists as well.

    – Ariel, Jon and Team Cyber PR®

    Adia & The 7 Eyes

    5 Adia has got soul and style as a Singer/ Songwriter and rock violinist. In 2012 she joined forces with some of Chicago’s finest musicians to form Adia & The Seven Eyes. Adia’s improv chops and mighty voice have gained her and The Seven Eyes recognition as the Artist of the Month on The Deli Chicago.

    Matthew Heller

    Matthew HellerMatthew Heller walks a fine line of traditional folk and “Stick-it-to-the-Man” grunge, and he walks it well. Hailing from Portland, Oregon Matthew Heller comes to the music scene with brutal force pushing his own social activism. His music has been likened to that of the Smashing Pumpkins, the Pixies, Coldplay, and Modest Mouse and his new self-titled album has been readily received.

    Crystal Waters

    Crystal WatersInternational sensation, Crystal Waters, has had quite a career since the 90s winning American Music Award nominations as well as nominations from MTV Video Music Awards and Billboard Music Awards. Last week, her new single “Oh Mama Hey” (Tommy Boy) with DJ Chris Cox and DJ Frankie was number 1 on the Billboard Dance Chart!

    Lisa Bell

    Lisa BellSinger/Songwriter Lisa Bell pushes positivity with her empowering lyrics and strives to incite an emotional connection with her listeners. Lisa Bell is currently performing across the country with her deep Americana, jazz roots and rock, blues influences.

    Mindil Beach Markets

    Mindil Beach MarketsMindil Beach Markets is known for their hip sound that they’ve laced with elements of funk, hip-hop and reggae. Their latest record, It Might Take Long, is the band inclining a bit more towards rock, a little less towards reggae, and a lot more towards fine-tuning their unique sound thats fashionable [fits] everywhere.

    Sasha Papernik

    sasha-117 (1)Singer/Songwriter and classical pianist, Sasha Papernik has got spunk, and she flaunts it on her new, well-received third album release Victory. The album is an ambitious endeavor where Sasha allows her whimsical mind and creativity shimmer with her musical artistry woven in.

    Spark & Echo

    Spark & EchoJonathon Roberts and Emily Clare Zempel said “I do” to one another and then married their musical vision. The husband and wife duo are songwriting-storytellers who offer a breath of life to the forgotten poetry and wild stories of the Bible. Their aim is to “create the world’s largest multi-disciplinary ‘illumination’ of the Bible” as a non-profit. With their second full-length album Inheritance, Spark & Echo are arriving closer to that ambition.

    The Heavy Guilt

    The Heavy GuiltThe Heavy Guilt is stark rock n’roll. Three albums into their career, their newest self-titled album sounds square from a dive bar. The grit is the beauty of it for The Heavy Gilt. They’re locked and loaded, honing in on their sound on The Heavy Guilt keep the rock fit sharp.

    Take Me To The Pilot

    Take Me To The PilotTake Me To The Pilot crave the colossal. These boys sing about girls and their tunes are garnished with big hooks but, you can’t write them off as teeny-boppers. Take Me To The Pilot are their own brand of pop and they will deliver it to you with a rock n’roll flare. All the hype that they’ve had, from being featured on Degrassi: The Next Generation to the upcoming release of their music video for their 4th single “Melody” is not just hype, but a prediction of big things to come.


    KarlexKarlex has responded to the invitation of an increasing global world and lifestyle. He has been referred to as “the Bob Marley of Haiti” by harboring his provincial musical styles of his Haitian ethnicity and translating it to the global domain with his blend of Afro-beat, funk, and soul styles. The title of his new album Paris – New York – Port Au Prince  is an expression of his personal feelings of world affiliation.

    [FREE E-BOOK] Quick Fix: 12 Ways Instantly Improve Your Band Website

    [FREE E-BOOK] Quick Fix: 12 Ways Instantly Improve Your Band Website


    Bandzoogle has a nice gift for everyone. During the last few years they’ve reviewed thousands of musician websites, and often, they see the same issues come up over and over again. So they’ve released a free e-Book called “Quick Fix! 12 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Band Website”.

    The eBook is a collection of 12 quick ways that musicians can improve their websites to make them look more professional and be more effective.

    Download the free e-Book here:

    Below is a sample chapter to give you an idea of what you’ll find inside the eBook:

    Website Quick Fix: Make it easy to listen to your music

    Another quick improvement you can make to your website is to make it easy for people to listen to your music. First time visitors should be able to sample your music in one, easy, and obvious click.

    Make a first impression: Music to listen to, not only purchase

    Keep in mind that a lot of your traffic is from people who aren’t your fans yet. Maybe they’ve heard about you. Maybe one of their friends posted your website somewhere. Maybe you’re opening for a band they like and they want to decide if you’re worth showing up early for. Think of them by putting your best track right there, at the top of your homepage in high bitrate glory (good sound quality). A good video? Even better. That way you’re grabbing their viewing as well as their listening attention.

    All too often music pages only have music for sale that at best offer 30-60 second sample clips. Sometimes there is only music available to purchase with no music samples at all, or worse yet, only links to external sites to purchase music, with no music available on the artist’s site whatsoever. You should definitely have your music for sale on your website, but make sure to also have at least 1 or 2 songs people can listen to, from start to finish, so they can get a good taste of what your music is all about.

    Make it clear where to listen to your music

    Once your music is available to listen to on your site, make it very easy for people to find it. Again, best thing to do would be to have a music player right on your homepage. You can also use a site-wide music player that can continue to play while people surf the different sections of your site. Once they start listening, having a “playlist” of your best songs that keeps playing is definitely better that forcing them to hit “play” for each track (because chances are, they won’t).

    Speaking of the different sections of your website, “Music” should be in the main menu of your website. This sounds like common sense, but there are still too many websites that either try to be fancy with sections like “Experience” or “Discover”, or have the music buried within another section of the site like “Media” or “Store”. You might only have that person’s attention for a minute (maybe less), so make it clear right on the main menu where they can find your music.

    Your website is your hub, give people every reason to stay

    Your website is your hub, and you should have everything available on it, including full songs to listen to. If your fans can listen to your songs on Facebook, Myspace, music blogs, etc., then they should be able to listen to them right on your website, which is where you really want fans to spend their time.

    This way, they can stick around, listen to your music, look at your photos, read your blog posts, and hopefully sign-up to your newsletter or shop at your online store. If you don’t have any music for them to listen to while they’re on your site, they might leave and go to your Facebook page (or your rarely updated Myspace page), or worse, just leave your site and move onto something else entirely to pass the time.

    Download the entire “Quick Fix!” e-Book here:

    Nagivating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – RECAP + More

    Nagivating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – RECAP + More

    Though our time in Austin has come to an end, we still have a bit more to share…

    Our final day at SXSW was once again packed with top notch events, showcases and of course people, all the while grabbing nuggets of advice along the way.

    A special highlight of the day for Chris and I was the chance to see Cyber PR® client, and Peru’s own Bareto perform. Their set set was fantastic! Full of energy and dancing (something I had yet to see at SXSW until this point).

    Bareto - SXSW Showcase @ Austin City Hall

    Bareto – SXSW Showcase @ Austin City Hall

    And now, let’s dive in to the last (but not least) group of people who shared their advice with us on friday. If you’re new to this series, see the links to all of the previous articles from this week’s SXSW series that ran throughout the week.

    Ari Goldstein (Band Manager, Motive – @motiveband) A band playing shows during SXSW should know that they won’t be able to follow their schedule exactly, so allow a lot of time getting from show to show. Expect to get frustrated. Expect some shows to be empty. And remember this is not a make or break situation.

    Bryan Vaughn (Owner, Paper Garden Records – @papergardenrecs) You never know who is going to be in the room so just play and have fun.

    Jeremy Styles (Musician, Pearl and the Beard – @PEARLntheBEARD) SXSW these days is more a situation of if you don’t have buzz coming in, you won’t have buzz coming out. So don’t expect too much

    Tim Convy (Manager, Tommy & The High Pilots/ Member of the band Ludo – @TheHighPilots / @LudoRock) Need to remember that there’s potent amount of potential for the industry to be at your show, but it’s just as much that, as it is ordering a taco next to industry folk in the taco place or standing next to them ordering a beer at the bar, and starting a conversation and creating a connection that way. Also playing at sxsw can be beneficial just to be able to say you played it.

    Dave Mann (Blogger, Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie – @STPPie) It’s important for a band to play a few times at least during sxsw. I booked shows at 5 different venues at this years festival and discouraged any bands from confirming a slot if that was going to be their only show in Austin. Only a few bands out of the 200 that I booked ended up only playing our STPP showcases.

    Benji Rogers (Founder, Pledge Music – @pledgemusic) South By music fans are some of most rabid fans who have traveled to see you. Take care of the fans first, THEN try to go out and network with the industry people.

    Eric Weiner (Blogger, The Wild Honey Pie – @thewildhoneypie) It’s important to play A LOT at least one year, and then work with bloggers for the next year so that you can get on their showcases. Also, very important, don’t reach out to bloggers for showcases that you’ve never worked with… these showcases are typically reserved for bands/ artists that have been covered and supported by these blogs already.

    Navigating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – SERIES RECAP

    Navigating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – 8 Friends Chime In

    Navigating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – 8 Friends Chime In

    Kickstarter 101 Panel - Jon Ostrow, Jenny Owen Youngs, Martin Atkins

    Kickstarter 101 Panel – Jon Ostrow, Jenny Owen Youngs, Martin Atkins

    Wow, yesterday was a blast! The day started early as Chris and I headed to the Bumstead showcase at the Canada House, and we kept on full-steam ahead with showcase after showcase, until the wee-hours of the morning.

    Oh… and did I mention the panel I spoke on?

    The Kickstarter 101 Panel, moderated by Martin Atkins and joined in by Jenny Owen Youngs and myself was really a blast – getting the opportunity to speak with the room about our own experiences (successes, surprises, obstacles, etc.) was a lot of fun!

    But beyond anything else, yesterday was all about one thing – networking.

    As you’ll see below, Chris and I took every opportunity to ask friends, old and new, to contribute to this series.

    Dive in and enjoy! We’ll be traveling back to NY tomorrow, but we’ll post a recap with further advice we can muster from today on Sunday. So be sure to check back then!

    Arron and Andrew (Band – @arronandandrew) – Connect with people on Twitter before getting here, it’s a great way to secure meetings. Leverage existing network to make new connections.

    Tim Des Islets (Bumstead Productions – @BumsteadProd) – Play as much as you can and meet as many people as possible. Not everything will lead to a break, but everyone here is ready for networking so don’t be afraid to speak up.

    Jenny Owen Youngs (Musician – @jennyowenyoungs) – Stay hydrated. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

    Martin Atkins (Author, Educator, Musician – @Marteeeen) – Do something different than everybody else, which means not playing, helping other bands, cooking pancakes, being nice… Do these thing and I think the things you want will come to you.

    Stephen Francis (Singer/ Guitar, Model Stranger – @modelstrangerSF) – Have intention. A band needs to know what they’re coming down here for and what they hope to get out of it. That includes managing expectations. Don’t get distracted by the party. Make some friends.

    Nigel Finley (Mood Media – @moodmedia) – Don’t count the people in the audience! Even if there are only a few, each one could be a potential super fan.

    Joseph Kelley (Balcony TV Brooklyn – @BalconyTVBK) – Bring ant-acids!

    Patrick Ermlich (The Outlet Collective) – Keep costs really low, come down for your first year just to get the lay of the land and get to know know the venues. This will set yourself up for the NEXT year.

    BONUS: Jon and Chris – Run a blog series like this! Asking people to contribute, be it a musicians, blogger, label head, promoter or beyond gave us some amazing opportunities to network and connect with people. Thank you to EVERYONE who contributed!

    Navigating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – Cari Cole

    Navigating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – Cari Cole

    Common Mama - 311 Club Showcase at SXSW

    Common Mama – 311 Club Showcase at SXSW

    Our first day at SXSW yesterday was intense and amazing.

    We jumped around from showcase to showcase, seeing some truly amazing sets throughout the day including Cyber PR’s very own Common Mama who played one of their 6 sets yesterday at the 311 Club.

    Before we connected with Ferdinando, Jon and the whole Common Mama team, we spent some time at the Pretty Much Amazing sponsored showcase. And who did we run into there?

    Cari ColeThe amazing Cari Cole!

    So we took this opportunity to include Cari in our series:

    Cari Cole is a Celebrity Vocal Coach + New Music Biz Mentor. Her company Cari Cole Voice + Music has been in the music industry for the past 25+ years in New York City. Her programs + free advice serve indie artists worldwide.

    BONUS: Visit for some free gifts! (Vocal Road Warrior 3-part series: Keep Your Voice Healthy on Tour and more!)

    Cari’s Advice:

    Dress to Impress But Lead With Your Friendly Personality and Not Your Ego!

    Your visual is the first impression people get. While dressing casual at a conference can be cool, be sure it’s rock n’ roll casual (don’t wear sneakers and clothes that don’t depict you are a musician.) YOU are your brand. Flaunt your style and have fun with it! Secondly, people remember people that are interested in them, so lead with your friendly personality and not your ego.

    REMINDER: Jon will be speaking on the ‘Kickstarter 101‘ Panel TODAY at 3:30pm with Martin Atkins and Jenny Owen Youngs!

    Navigating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – Chris Rockett of Music Marketing Classroom

    Navigating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – Chris Rockett of Music Marketing Classroom

    SXSW 2013After sitting in JFK Airport for over 5 hours due to weather delays, Chris Hacker and I are finally here at SXSW.

    Connect with us on Twitter – we’d love to meet up with all of you!

    Jon: @jon_ostrow
    Chris: @chrisnhacker

    In the meantime, we’ve got another nugget of advice for you from Chris Rockett!

    ChrisRockettChris Rockett is the founder of the Music Marketing Classroom, whose mission is to empower musicians to create a sustainable income, even with a modest music career, and teaches a simple four-step marketing philosophy to achieve that goal.

    First off my advice would be that even though you may get all the Margaritas you can drink as part of your rider, it does not mean you have to use it.

    I was over playing on the BBC stage at SXSW a couple of years back and after a long flight (and our set being pushed back until 1am) it was not our finest hour.

    On a more serious note I would suggest that every musician take a moment to think of some EPIC freebie you can giveaway during the event.

    There is a lot of people there trying to get noticed so you need to go the extra mile to stand above the noise.

    For instance you might give away your whole album… PLUS a video recording of one of your shows.

    You can do this by uploading it to SoundCloud and YouTube as a private upload that can only be accessed from a special link. (There is an option for that on each site)

    Next, print up 200 business cards with a URL that will allow you to capture an email address in exchange for your killer freebie. Make it your mission to go out and talk to as many cool people as you can.

    After a few minutes of being a super cool dude slip in that you would be happy to give them a free $25 coupon to get your “album package” and give then the card with the website URL on it.

    You could also get them to text you or just go old school and make a note of their email address on your phone.

    Once you have the email address you can use a killer app for Gmail called “Rapportive” that will show you if your new contacts are also using Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

    Chatting with your new music biz contacts through these sites will deepen the connection.

    You now have a brand new email and social media list which is something very concrete and valuable to show from your time at SXSW.

    Navigating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – Molly King and Madalyn Sklar

    Navigating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – Molly King and Madalyn Sklar

    SXSW 2013Today marks the cross-section between the end of iSXSW (South By Interactive) and the start of SXSW Music.

    For all of the musicians, bloggers and music industry professionals headed down to Austin today (note: Chris Hacker and I will be joining you this evening!), we’ve got some great advice from two amazing people, Molly King (CD Baby) and Madalyn Sklar (GoGirls Music).

    Fist off, we have advice from Madalyn Sklar who is a music marketing expert and founder of GoGirls Music. They will be hosting showcases on both Friday AND Saturday – find all the info you’ll need here.

    Always keep business cards on you. When talking to people ask for their card and follow up within a week of the conference. Networking is the key to success at SXSW as well as any conference or event. If you’re talking to someone influential, ask if you can get a photo taken with them. When you follow up by email be sure to include that photo. This will make you memorable.

    Get on Instagram and take lots of photos documenting your SXSW experience. And most important, tag your photos with #SXSW and push them out to your Facebook and Twitter (Flickr and Tumblr too if you have them).

    Secondly, we have advice from Molly King, Digital Marketing Program Manager at CD Baby.

    Bring a small notepad and a pen in case your smart phone drains dry (and you’re unable to re-charge) and a decent supply of whatever your contact info is on (CDs/EPKs/press kits/business cards).

    Navigating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – Mariana Nepomuceno, Reverbnation

    Navigating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – Mariana Nepomuceno, Reverbnation

    SXSW 2013For those of you living under a rock, this week is the SXSW Music Conference (well… Music, Film and Tech to be exact) taking over the streets of Austin, TX.

    Together, Chris Hacker and I will be navigating the city’s thousands of showcases, panels and off-the-cuff events on behalf of team Cyber PR®. Unlike Chris and Ariel, this is my first time heading down to the madness that is SXSW, so for the benefit of myself and the thousands of musicians who are also heading down for the first time, we decided to seek out some advice from some of the best and brightest in the music industry.

    Each day, we’ll be publishing new content here to the blog, as well as to our Twitter accounts (@jon_ostrow, @chrisnhacker) for your benefit!

    We started the SXSW related content off last week with Ariel’s Guide to SXSW 2013, and will continue today with some advice from Reverbnation’s Mariana Nepomuceno:


    Mariana is the Community Manager of ReverbNation, where she gets to interact with independent musicians on a daily basis. Though not a musician herself, Mariana loves all things music, especially live concerts and festivals. She hopes to learn the drums one day. Follow her on Twitter @NanaNepo

    Practice, practice, practice. Before and during SXSW. You want to perform as if it’s the last gig of your life. Even if you’re playing to five people, you never know who those people are or who they know. One of them could be the niece of a big-shot label guy looking for a band just like yours. So you want your performance to be the best it has ever been.

    Don’t be afraid to publicize your music. Bring merch, any kind of merch. Even if just a sticker. People in your audience should leave the venue knowing your band’s name — and if they don’t, as least when they go home after watching 1,234 performances that day, they may remember you when they see your sticker (and now you’ve given them the chance to look you up online).

    Jon Ostrow in New York on 03/21/13

    Jon Ostrow in Austin, TX on 03/14/13

    Ariel Hyatt in New York on 03/27/13

    Sound Advice TV – Derek Sivers and Ariel Hyatt Discuss Internet Marketing for Musicians

    In this week’s video, I’m pulling out an oldie but goodie! Derek Sivers reminds us what the actual heart and soul of internet marketing is, and the trick is always remember your marketing to people. People are at the core of everything.

    I did this interview a couple of years ago but have never posted it here on the blog, so enjoy!

    Basic Marketing Principles For Artists – Part 1 of 3: Increase Your Fanbase

    Basic Marketing Principles For Artists – Part 1 of 3: Increase Your Fanbase

    As many of you know Cyber PR® is a hybrid of Internet Marketing, Social Media and PR. I am an avid Internet Marketing student and I gather the nuggets I learn from my studies for musicians.

    For many years, I’ve attended internet marketing retreats and seminars; a favorite of mine was a two-day intensive course run by the incredible marketer, Ali Brown.

    The course was a whirlwind, and the core principles I learned were both basic and critically important.

    There are three ways to increase your income:

    1. Increase your number of clients (fans).

    2. Increase the frequency of purchase, how often your fans buy from you. (and you’d better have more than just music to sell).

    3. Increase the amount of money that you charge.

    Okay, none of these three things are brain surgery, but from a musician’s perspective, it brings up some interesting points.   In my last article about Internet marketing, I point out that music sold online cannot be treated like a diet product. So, marketing music from a straight-up traditional Internet marketing approach is, in my opinion, not entirely possible. The reason why this is: Products that sell very well online tend to solve people’s problems.  (Like Losing weight or making more money). I am captivated by how musicians can use some of these basic principles, to increase their own bottom line in the digital space. I’m going to break each one of the three principles down from a musician’s perspective, and my next three posts here will focus on each one.

    This blog post will focus on #1.

    So How Do You Increase your number of clients (fans)?

    I am always shocked when musicians I work for at Cyber PR®, are desperate to reach more and more potential fans without really focusing on the fans that they already have. These fans don’t need to be found, because they are already your fans.

    Studies have proven that it is much harder to make a new client and get them to purchase something than it is to get a client that already knows you and trusts you to purchase from you over and over.

    I always suggest that, in measuring fans, the best place to look is at your social networks and at your mailing list.

    Your newsletter list is the only place where you can directly engage with your fans on your own terms.

    Not Facebook’s terms, and not Twitter’s terms.

    10 Fail-Safe Ways to Increase/ Engage With Your Fan base

    Here are 10 fail-safe ways to increase / engage with your fanbase by pulling from fans that you already know and have who trust and like you!

    1. Get serious about your newsletter.

    Use or and send your newsletter one time per month.  Track your effectiveness by monitoring your open rates.

    2. Mine your inbox and outbox for names and addresses to add.

    Ask all of your friends if it’s OK to add them to your list, otherwise you might be considered a spammer.

    3. Bring a clipboard to each and every live appearance.

    Invite people onto your mailing list with a raffle or giveaway from stage, and collect e-mail addresses.  During your performance, hold the CD up on stage and than give it away, you’ve just inserted a full commercial into your set without feeling “salesy” and you’ve excited one of your fans by giving them a gift.

    4. Include a special offer on your home page with a free exclusive MP3 or video.

    Use the Reverbnation Fan Collector or Free Download widgets to deliver it.

    TIP: Make sure this download is not available anywhere.  Not streaming on your Facebook page.  Only on your website.

    And of course it can also be available for purchase on your CD, but make sure that no one can get it anywhere else online. This will motivate people to sign up to your mailing list!

    5. Follow 25 new people a week on Twitter.

    6. Send out e-mails to your most engaged fans on Facebook and ask if you can have their e-mail addresses for your newsletter.  This is a bit arduous but the results will pay off.

    7. Do the same with Twitter.

    8. Start a blog and start sharing photos and stories and thoughts.

    Note: you can also use Instagram to take pictures from your iPhone or Android phone, which can then be shared through Facebook and Twitter.

    9. Start a podcast or a vodcast and interview other artists with big followings.  Ask them to share your podcast with their fans and followers.  It doesn’t have to be a big production.  It can be a small, informal video at YouTube.  Click here to see mine.

    10. Ask your fans to review your music at CD Baby, iTunes, and Amazon.

    How Do You Build Your Fan Base?

    My next blog post will attack principle number two, increasing the frequency of purchase. In the meantime, I would love to hear how you build your fan base in the form of a comment below

    Kent Gustavson

    Kent Gustavson

    TEDx speaker, musician, educator, and author of “Blind But Now I See,” the unofficial biography of legendary bluegrass musician Doc Watson.

    Campaign Angles: Author Promotion, Thought Leadership

    Top 10 Cyber PR® Artists for Winter 2013

    Top 10 Cyber PR® Artists for Winter 2013

    Over the last few weeks, this blog has been dedicated to our recently finished (and thankfully very successful) Rockethub campaign, as well as to our upcoming, brand new social media mastery e-course called Social Media House.

    But today we’re going to take a step aside to once again shine the spotlight on the Top 10 Cyber PR® artists for this 2013 winter season. With the level of talent we represent, this is never an easy decision, however we’ve able to compile a list of the top 10 Cyber PR® artists that have received the most attention from bloggers, podcasters and internet radio stations. Enjoy and happy winter… stay warm!

    – Ariel, Jon and Team Cyber PR®


    Album CoverTQ sets himself apart with cutting edge songwriting, branching off from traditional R&B content and branding his own type of “Reality R&B.” His latest single “Bad Man”, featuring Mystikal from his upcoming album Legendary was just recently released.


    Michael ColtonAs bluesy as a rusty guitar with a bottle of whiskey, Michael adds gospel and blues to create a landscape of trials and tribulations. Michael’s latest album “The Robert Johnson Sessions” is now available for review.


    natalya Cover FINALNatalya is like Adele and Ingrid Michaelson morphed into a single diva and about 5 years younger. Her debut album, “Whisper” is dynamically diverse, from the shimmering, amorous folk pop of “My Heart,” to the lush warmth of “I’ve Got A Friend,” to the graceful melancholy of “Don’t Say Nothing.”.


    Kent GustavsonKent Gustavson does it all from being a musician to a teacher to a writer. Kent’s book, the unofficial biography of legendary bluegrass musician Doc Watson, “Blind But Now I See” is now available for review!


    Jamie BlockJamie Block is one of a kind; combining magic, madness and whimsy to tell deep emotional truths. For Jamie’s latest album “Whitecaps On The Hudson”, he has created a wildly unique music video to accompany each song. The videos for the 4 songs from the album are all on his Virtual Press Kit and are available for exclusive premiere!


    Grace KellyFor Grace Kelly musicality is oceanic, and she dives into it boldly on her latest album, “Grace Kelly Live At Scullers”, finding sounds that are vastly divided like Jazz, Americana and smoldering Funk.


    David AlterDavid Alter digs deeply in his music by his masterful writing; capturing bold truths in well-crafted soft rock. David’s new album “Songs for Sale”, is a collection of 10 track carefully culled from a catalog of 100 tracks written over 20 years.


    Common MamaCommon Mama has an exceptional voice along with music that is not only mesmerizing but also very comforting. Common Mama singer Jon Kenzie’s folksy vocals evoke Cat Stevens and Paolo Nutini, he has the optimum blend of sandpaper and satin to compliment Italian composer/ songwriter Ferdinando Arnò’s shimmering indie pop compositions.


    La CatrinLa Catrin is a beautiful and sultry combination of Evanescence and Lady Gaga, but just a tad more on the darker side. Her stunning debut, Humans Are My Keyboards, is a soaring, leather-dipped album that is poetic, insightful, and full of sharp hooks.


    SerapicosSerapicos is an indie/punk scruffy genius, imaginative arrangements and surprising stylistic references played with an unbridled charm! The recently released 15-song opus, Serapicos Is A Town, is a wry, witty, and imaginative indie rock debut from a promising young pop composer.

    Ariel Hyatt in Online on 02/26/13

    We Did It!  My Crowd Funding Campaign is OVER

    We Did It! My Crowd Funding Campaign is OVER

    I am sitting here in a state of utter disbelief!

    My crowd funding has been humbling, scary, confronting, and in the end totally uplifting!


    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming on this journey with me

    and for being the wind, the waves,  the road…… and the Net


    Thatch, Sheila, Nkechi, Norm Jones, Rob Johnson, Ty Noonan, Jeffrey Gerlach, Brett Wilson, Alain Pernot, Chris Morris, Danielle, Paul Carosi, Michelle, Durojaiye, Christie Grace, Penny, Mel, Cady Finlayson, Charlie Gathe, Tonya Shevenell, Justin Naylor, Dave Tofani, Chris Huff, Jessica Paige, Christina Sheer W, Julie Geller, Sam Jackson, Ryan Lucht, Rob Phas, Kaya Colak, Shannon Pratt, Emy Tseng, Erin McNamee, Kevin Mitchell, Jamie Alonge, Ben Craven, John Comerford, Mikael Jacob Matta, Bobbo Byrnes, Monica O’Brein, Kin Ken, Rachel Barton Pine, Deanne Hardwick, Celia Slattery, Adrian Stewart, Kerri Randall, Rich Koski, Philip Zimmerman, Corey Ellis, Meriwether, Karen, Susanna Carman, The WEB Team (Edie, Erica, Jared), Leni Stern, Linda Bonadies, Colin, Aris, Dan Bevin, Paul Marcus, David Avery, Selita, FireDean Schilling, Deb, Lucy LeBlanc, Rob McDermott, Marya Stark, Lucy Hammond, Dennis Middleton, Glenn McMullen, Jes Raymond, Denise Stiff, Patrice O’Neill, Ken Main, Michele Thomas, Clive Swersky, Melanie R Dyer, Cat Marcasciano, Gata Negrra, Geronimo G-mo Moreno, Jon Weisberger, Louis Landon, Robert M. Leggett, Owen Drew, Jessica Wilson, Jonathan Schwartz, Melissa Bailey, Howard Lull, Jay Mankita, Tim Whalen, Esme Packett, A.C., Jen Cohn, Alexander Vlachos, Hannah Showmaker, Joe Blanda, Julie, Fabian Alsultany, Michael Cohen, Jim, Gregory, Bobby Marko, Adam Arredondo, Allen Salzberg, Chris, Chris Conway, Edie Collins, Joona Nuutinen, Idelle Nissila-Stone, Brian Wilkins, Brian Wilkins, Glory Douglass Reinstein, Michael Meinhart, Gloria Sokolin, Colin Willis, Kathryn Berry-Sauvageau, Mary Barry, Grace Baugh-Bennett, Evan Specter, Janyse Jaud, Sam Cosby, Cliff Stevens, Alex Richard Commins, Kerry Harvey-Piper, David Warrick Jones, Rich Meitin, Scott Krokoff, Guilherme Gautreaux, Michael Kauffman, Ken Coulson, Jo Papadaki, Steve Melhuish, Mark Muggeridge, Elwin Williams, Rigo Asencio, Michael Huppe, Bob Baker, Kevin Toqe, Christo Jones, Rebecca Moore, Ali Sachedina, Andras Bozan Bodrogi, Nick Johnson, Patty Mattson, Robert E. Person, Arline J. Lederman, Michael Himes, Paul Reyes, Marshall Such, El Prezidino, Tracy Maddux, Ferdinano Arno, Glenn Peoples, Sonya, Claire Armbruster, Obande Peter Obande, Ra Sha Heen, Kevin Smith, David Hooper, Kathy Muir, Jim Crabb, Theresa Noye, Jennifer Vazquez, Bjorn Dahlberg, Talie Melnyk, Shawnda Grice, Jean Synodinos, Dudley Saunders, Ilyana Kadushin, Carli Munoz, Mindy Gledhill, Kent Gustavson, Ana Sanjuan, Ashley, Vivek J. Tiwary, Kristen Graves, Maude Brochu, Sheri, Jensen Reed, Cory, Steve Schultz, Patsy Delledonne, Alli, Don Slepian, Chip Petree, Kiliii Yu, Alice Rose, dARIO, Jonathon Roberts, Michael Whalen, Thomas Silverman, Roy Silverstein, Kim, Peter Woolston, Dann Russo, Jay Frank, Jim Cummings, Linda Bonadies, Sheila Grace, Tyson Lannon, Joan & Dick Firestone, Ellie & Geirge Munroe, Rachel Barnhard, Istvan, Joseph Gonzales, Laura, Emily Reichbach Rosenthal, Jason Torbert, Dominique Rowland, Tom Laune, Anna, Rachel Bagby, Mita Carriman, Michael Oteka, Kristin FM, Martin Atkins, Rachel Masters, Rob Gordon, Marcus Whitney, Jill Lerman Nazimek, Sandra Hanna, Brian John Mitchell, Zach Falkow, Kim Riemer, John Bartus, Nancy Drosd, Walt Pitts, Troy Petty, Annemarie Clinton, Laura Allen, Gian Uccello, Rachel Schroeder, Cynthia Shelhart, Spoon, Tom, Nicola Milan, Kira Willey, Francis Booth, Anu Gunn, Chuck Hughes, Julie Geller, Bill Carter, Ace Connell, Al Purdie, Walter Tackett, Benjamin Benaim, Queen Rose, Melissa Ostrow, Jordan Walker, Stephen Coyne, Lawrence Reusing, Paul Beaudry, Jeff Clark, Paul d’Amore, Parisch Browne, Anita, Chris Hacker, Carole Hyatt, Ann Mcgovern, Jon Ostrow, Patrice Fehlen, Pete Scherer, Adam Lewis, Judith Gerberg, Jennifer Selke, Victoria Camera, Nikki Hirsch, Randy Chertkow, Peter Clitheroe, Eleanor Whitney, Joyce Dollinger, Nathan Lew, Bryan Calhoun, Laurena Marrone, Erik Philbrook, Brian Ibbott, Sally J Freeman, Carol Swed, Rachel Schain, Chiller Twist, Kevin Atwood, Wendy Snyder, Aaron Levinthal, Daniella, Leo Osborne, Derek Sivers, Gordon Hyatt, Millie M, Charlie Dahan, Peggy Dold, Molly Nagel, & Brian Meece

    The Reason I Got into Helping Artists Goes Like This…. (or Part 2 of Telling My Story)

    The Reason I Got into Helping Artists Goes Like This…. (or Part 2 of Telling My Story)

    It’s the day after Christmas.  The rain is pouring down on the roof and the turkey roast is slowly digesting…  and since I have just asked practically everyone in the world I’ve ever met to help me raise a lot of money to do something I have only dreamed of I’m going to be sharing my story with you….

    I was raised in New York City in a creative household.  My dad was a documentary television producer and my mom, a pioneering female entrepreneur and author.

    As a typical high achieving “Type A” family, the conversation at the dinner table every night was around my mother’s business and her new endeavor as a self-help author. When I was 8 my mother’s book The Women’s Selling Game became a bestseller and her subsequent books Women and Work, and When Smart People Fail also were hits.  Mom was on dozens of TV shows; Oprah, The Today Show, Donohue, etc. and, she was featured in magazines, and newspapers. She started traveling even more than she had in her role as an entrepreneur, speaking around the world motivating women with talks and workshops who were moving away from traditional jobs and as they were newly adapting to their roles of executive females.

    At the time of this was happening my dad who is an Emmy Award winning documentary TV producer, was experiencing a less soaring trajectory.

    The TV business started to experience a transition and, all of a sudden the public wanted less of what my father made.  New types of programming began to replace the high budget high quality documentaries my father worked on. Videotape and cheaper methods that my father wasn’t used to began to replace film. Thousands of people began to flood the TV market as “TV” was a new major in universities and the market became saturated with younger more nimble people who would work for less. Dad, unwilling to compromise his artistic vision, started working less.

    What happened to my dad has happened to many in his generation and in my lifetime to countless musicians who were unable to adapt.  They got left behind. Today my dad is still a producer of live events and he has found a satisfying outlet for his creativity, but he no longer makes TV documentaries and he hasn’t for a long time.

    I can’t help but think that I think about my childhood and seeing my dad get left behind factored into why I was so drawn to artists – helping artists find their voices, tell their stories and adapt to new changing technologies.

    It’s not fair that all of a sudden there are all of these new rules (I never have said that it is) but it is necessary.  If you want to stay competitive doing what you love you must stay nimble and adapt or you will get left behind.

    A Message from Derek Sivers + My Holiday Gift to You

    A Message from Derek Sivers + My Holiday Gift to You

    I was floored last week when I went to check my email and Derek Sivers had emailed me one of the most generous video testimonials ever.

    I must say, it’s definitely gratifying because I’ve worked my REAR off to get to where I want to be. But I was seriously humbled.

    And I’m giving something away this month as my gift to you –

    I’m holding a live event on Tuesday night and putting a few of you in the HOT SEAT where I’m going to show you how to FIX what you’re doing wrong online and create MASSIVE exposure to help you get yourself discovered in 2013.

    Here’s what we’ll be doing:

  • There will be LIVE hot seats, music artists selected by random from our audience where you will have the opportunity to learn what you need to change NOW in order to get more exposure online
  • I’m going to be revealing what you should NEVER do online and how to fix it fast!
  • I’ll look at your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and website and tell you what’s working
  • I’ll answer all your questions about Facebook personal pages vs fan pages (I know that’s driving you crazy!)
  • I’ll show you how to build your fan base before you even get off the call!

  • Click here to join me and get all of the details to my Online Holiday Party


    P.S. – Be sure and sign up now to get the deets for a chance to be selected to be in the HOT SEAT and learn my new special fan formula!

    Why Telling YOUR Story Is The Cornerstone of Your Brand…(and Why It’s High Time I’m Telling Mine)

    Why Telling YOUR Story Is The Cornerstone of Your Brand…(and Why It’s High Time I’m Telling Mine)

    One of the best parts of my job is helping people reveal and tell their stories.

    95% of clients who contact us for Cyber PR campaigns or social media strategy think that we are going to be promoting JUST their “product” in most cases with my clients this means their music. But, our job is trying to help our clients realize  it’s the stories and the deeper connections that telling them that will LEAD potential fans to their product. having captivating stories is the asset that makes all of the difference.

    In the old world stories didn’t matter. Advertising used to equal marketing and so, the client with the most money for ads WON just by saturating the market. Telling a story wasn’t necessary or even heard of.

    Fast forward to the present day.  We live in a world over-saturated by choice.  It’s no longer about advertising (i.e. Shouting Loudly from the rooftop).  With advancements like Social Media, customer reviews and 200,000,000 blogs you are insane if you think any product without a story or one that satisfies a real NEED or solves a huge problem will mean anything to anyone.

    Great products in the present day come with great stories. We buy Toms shoes because we love the story that a child with no shoes gets a pair every time we buy, we trust Airborne instead of the 2,568 other vitamins available because a kindergarten teacher developed it.  It’s the stories and the meanings behind them that really make the difference for us in the new world.

    I never trust a website advertising a service based product unless I can find out something about the people delivering the service.  They matter to me and their stories matter to me, and I bet they matter to you too…

    As I was thinking about all of this, I realized.  I have never really told my story.

    And since I  have just asked practically everyone in the world I’ve ever met to help me raise a lot of money to do something I have only dreamed of, I thought I would share mine…

    The reason why I got into music is deeply personal.  Music actually saved my life as a child…

    At age 6, I was thrown out of a prestigious private school on the Upper East Side in New York City. In the middle of 2nd grade my parents got bad news; I was not going to be invited back for third grade, due to the fact that I was not learning as fast as my classmates. In a panic, my parents began a long journey to help connect me with a tutor or a teacher who could help get me up to speed, and I spent countless hours with tutors learning things that the other kids were picking up naturally in school.

    My parents enrolled me into a less competitive school. For years, I spent my lunch and after school hours in tutoring. One tutor discovered something that changed my life; I couldn’t memorize multiplication tables or understand how to conjugate French verbs and reading was a true struggle, but I could remember lyrics to songs – lots of songs. Music class was the only thing that I did not struggle with because I had dead on pitch. I couldn’t read music, but if it was played once, I could sing it along with the rest of the class effortlessly. As soon as my tutor began to teach me in singing, I started to catch up with the rest of my classmates. I learned to rhyme my times tables to my favorite songs and that made them easy to memorize. Singing and rhyming everything, from the state capitals, to proper grammar got me through. I caught up to the rest of my class graduated high school  and college as an A student.

    Me with my staff, Boulder, CO, 1997


    After school, I moved to Boulder, CO because music there took me there.  The artists that were playing live     there, the venues that they played in took me there, and I had the privilege of working in those venues.  My whole life at that time centered around building a business that could support that love.

    Here’s the biggest lesson I have learned so far in my life: Everything is learnable and achievable if you set your mind to it.  The key to success is you must figure out a pleasureable way to get there. It’s critical that you don’t forget to add  joy and expression.

    There is no magic pill that can solve the quandary that this “new” world  has presented us,  but I’ve overcome some seemingly impossible personal battles and I’m up for the challenge.

    You Are Invited to my Ustream Holiday Party…  December 18th (And My New Book is READY!!)

    You Are Invited to my Ustream Holiday Party… December 18th (And My New Book is READY!!)

    Today marks the OFFICIAL start of the 12 Days of Christmas! And I’ve got 12 amazing gifts for you… Plus an invite

    First The Invite!! You are cordially invited to my Ustream Holiday Party

    This Coming Tuesday Dec 18th where I’m going to put a as many lucky artists as I can fit into the HOT SEAT and show you all how to crank up your site & socials to get maximum exposure. And it’s totally fr*ee, So raise your eggnog!!

    Yep, Ariel! I’m RSVP’ing to your Ustream party


    And Now My 12 Gifts For the 12 Days of Christmas…

    This is all a part of my celebration for the crowd funded launch of my new book!

    One case of books has arrived, I’m selling them, included with 12 fabulous perks from me and some of the best & brightest minds in the music business. :)

    Get The book +12 Perks for yourself or someone else this holiday!

    Here’s What You Will Get (over $500 worth of goodies):


    An autographed copy of Cyber PR® for Musicians: Tools Tricks & Tactics for Building Your Social Media House mailed to you AND my 2013 Social Media Pyramid Poster to coach you on best social media practices everyday


    Power Up Your Publicity 4 Week e-course – Holds your hand while you get your own publicity strategy launched and on target for success (Originally Sold for $147)

    Cyber PR® Guide to Crowdfunding: Create, Captivate & Complete Your Perfect Campaign From Start to Finish (PDF coming out in January 2013)




    The Music Business Bonus Pack  including exclusive PDFs, eReports, coupons,online classes and 2 teleseminars to help you get ahead in the new year from Bandzoogle, Bob Baker, CD Baby, Jay Frank, Jon Ostrow, Bobby Owsinski, Tom Jackson, Brian Meece, Carla Lynne Hall, Top Spin and Cari Cole!

    Click here to get 2 books, 1 social media poster and 12 crazy bonuses for only 50 bucks!

    When you arrive on the page SELECT: “THE LIVE AUDIENCE”

    Hope to “See” you on December 18th Or Mail you a goodie bag this week!

    Love, Ariel

    Parents With Angst

    Parents With Angst

    NY-based husband and wife songwriting team featuring standout songs inspired by their first-hand journey raising their preschooler, Adam.

    Campaign Angles: Mommy Bloggers, Early Childhood Education, Parenting

    Sound Advice TV – Brian Meece, Co-Founder of RocketHub

    Sound Advice TV – Brian Meece, Co-Founder of RocketHub

    These past few weeks have been some of the most confronting ones of my career. Boy am I getting a taste of my own medicine :-)

    This coming week I will be launching my own crowd funding campaign with Rockethub. A crowd funding campaign takes a lot of work to properly prepare and launch and while you’re working every little voice inside your head and personal demon/ monster comes to visit you saying you don’t deserve this, everyone will hate you, you’re not good enough, you’re not really that talented…

    So on that note, one of the smartest and most calming people, Brian Meece, is here to talk me off the ledge. Here are two videos we made a few years ago on how to do crowd funding RIGHT. Let’s hope that I get it right.

    Ok I’m heading back to my editing, enjoy these videos.

    19 Cyber PR® Artists Bring Joy to the 2012 Holidays

    19 Cyber PR® Artists Bring Joy to the 2012 Holidays

    Thanksgiving is behind us and we have arrived in December… the holidays are officially among us! Feasts, wassailing, caroling, presents, and best of all, holiday music.

    To kick off the season (and to prepare you for all of the festivities), we have created a collection of holiday music that is the perfect catalyst to get into the holiday state of mind. Grab the eggnog a little early and take a listen to these great Cyber PR® artists! Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

    – Ariel and Team Cyber PR®


    The Midtown Men


    Song: All Alone on Christmas

    On the heels of an incredible performance at the Right 2 Rock charity event honoring “Little Steven” Van Zandt at the Hammerstein Ballroom alongside rock legends Bruce Springsteen, Dion, Elvis Costello, & Tom Morello, – acclaimed singing group THE MIDTOWN MEN are thrilled to announce the release of their holiday single, “All Alone On Christmas.”

    The track is currently available for purchase at iTunes, and in light of the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, 100% of all digital download proceeds from “All Alone On Christmas” will go to the American Red Cross by THE MIDTOWN MEN to help aid in all relief efforts throughout the end of the year.


    Natalya Phillips


    Song: Toyland

    You Remind Me of Christmas is the debut single by 15 year oldsinger-songwriterNatalyaPhillips. ThisSanDiego native has developed an unmatched level of sophisti- cated songwriting skills, as well as a deep sense of vocal delivery. Her style is uniquely simple, yet vast in emo- tions and is bound to inspire and influence generations tocome.

    You Remind Me of Christmas, is Natalya’s first contribution to the world of holiday classics. Thesingle was produced by Emmy© Award winner and two-time Grammy© nominee, composer/producer Allan Phillips. It features a soothing blend of acoustic guitars, ukulele, bass and accordion arranged in a pop/folk genre.

    Lee Abramson



    Song: Have Ur Selph a M3rry Lil Xmas

    Despite his disability of being wheelchair-bound with ALS, Lee has managed to create music using a unique, painstaking method. Utilizing a computer and music notation software, he is able to compose using one finger and a touch pad. He’s created a truly unique rendition of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.


    Adeele & Gentry



    Song: Carol of The Bells

    “Carol of The Bells” is the debut single from Adelee & Gentry’s EP “Waiting For Christmas.” “Waiting For Christmas” is a unique, robust, and dramatic holiday album that takes the listener on a journey where stunningly beautiful harmonies blend effortlessly with powerful strings and percussion.


    Pat Canavan



    Songs:  Happy Happy Happy New Year To You, Star Light Star Bright

    Pat Canavan is an accomplished composer and singer with a vast catalogue consisting of over 300 titles in nearly every genre. Pat has written scores for radio and television commercials as well as award winning films. Over the course of his career Mr. Canavan has also been the front man for a variety of bands including U4EA, The Tundra, 600 and HERE. Check out his recording of “Star Light Star Bright” and “Happy Happy Happy New Year To You”.


    Jodie Levinson




    Song: Strong Enough

    Singer/songwriter Jodie Levinson, a native of the Garden State, has had a love for the performing arts for as long as she can remember. Jodie has worked with Producer Matt Pendergast (song remixer for artists including Mary J. Blige, Britney Spears & Ciara). Her song “Strong Enough” is amazing and great for the holiday spirit.





    The Phoenix Quartet


    Songs: Ocho Kandelikas, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, I’ll be Home for Christmas

    The Phoenix Quartet, currently celebrating its 10th anniversary, is comprised of four classically-trained singers with uniquely matched vocal styles and timbres. They have cultivated a style of vocal music and placed the essence in a quartet environment. Check out “Ocho Kandelikas” or “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” while sitting around the tree and a fire.



    Robby The Elf




    Song: The Legion of Elves, The Elf Lean

    Robby The Elf is the world’s first elf rapper. He is the innovator of a new genre called Christmas Crunk, combining hip-hop beats with the holidays; that is clean rap, yet jammingly entertaining. Do the two step and snap around that ole holiday fire, drink eggnog, and get that Christmas Crunk on.





    Doug Simmons & Glen Mitchell


    Song: Christmas Times Blues, Santa Don’t, Rudolph

    Doug Simmons and Glen Mitchell grew up together in Cumberland, RI, joining forces in the 3rd Grade because of their mutual admiration of the Beatles! Yeah – Ed Sullivan changed EVERYTHING! They were pretty much brothers from the start, living a street away from each other and spending most, if not all of their free time listening to and playing music and of course, sports. The mid-late 60’s was a great time to grow up in middle class America!



    Brynn Andre



    Song: Let It Snow

    Brynn established herself as a force in the Midwest songwriter scene with her self-titled release. “When she opens her mouth, she doesn’t just sing. She makes you feel something.” – Pensive Rock. Check out her rendition of “Let it Snow”



    Elle B. Wilson



    Song: Gift of Love

    Elle B. Willson may look like an angel with her long blonde tendrils and gentle eyes, but growing up she couldn’t sing like one to save her soul. Whatever happened between then and now is something magical, and this singer/songwriter shows us the proof in the release of her holiday single, “Gift of Love. “




    Jeffery Paul Bobrick



    Song:  It’s Chanukah! (8 Nights of Stamina)

    Singer/Songwriter Jeffrey Paul Bobrick (JPB) knows how many great holiday songs there are. And he made it his goal to write another classic, but instead of a Christmas based song he set his sights on a Chanukah song.


    Dee Emeigh




    Song: Rock of Ages Lullaby

    Dee Emeigh is a singer-songwriter whose precise vocals and faith-filled lyrics reach into forgotten places of the heart and point it to heaven, and her recording of “Rock of Ages Lullabye” will do the same, expect it will point you to the cookies and milk instead.





    Golden Angel Project



    Song: Merry Christmas (Means I Love You)

    Angel 1 and Angel 2 met on a cloud and decided they couldn’t resist making music to move the hearts and feet of their human friends. The result was this decidedly un-cringe worthy, genuinely cheery, soon to be holiday classic. Warm up that cocoa and take a listen to “Merry Christmas (Means I Love You).”







    Song: Wishing You Home

    FIYA’s holiday single, “Wishing You Home” (written by Joe Tann) is a tender, poignant song that embraces the emotions of being separated from a loved one at Christmas. Sometime you use holidays to remember those ones you miss, so just give into feelings.




    Fractal Cat



    Song: Some Angel

    Baltimore band Fractal Cat emphasizes classic songwriting, a strong vocal presence, and a multilayered psychedelic sound, so obviously they would have a holiday song right? Check out the unique song “Some Angel.”




    Patty Mattson




    Song: I’m Heading Home

    “I’m Heading Home” is the 2nd song on Patty Mattson’s 5 song Holiday EP “ALL THE WONDERS OF THIS HOLIDAY”, and this, her second release does not disappoint. Get ready to decorate that tree for these ones.



    Maddy Rodriguez



    Song: Momma Made Christmas

    Maddy Rodriguez is an up and coming New Country singer/songwriter from Toronto, Canada. She’s a sweet, wholesome, family-oriented, beautiful young lady and an extremely talented songwriter. “Mama Made Christmas” is her first holiday single; an absolutely heartwarming song evoking sweet memories of Christmas with Mom.


    The Stone Coyotes




    Song: Sing Me a Hymn

    The Stone Coyotes are a bare-bones rock family trio. Barbara Keith began her career as a folksinger at Greenwich Village’s Café Wha?, the hallowed dive where Dylan, Hendrix, and many others got their start. Got to like this one “Sing Me A Hymn.”

    Marion Loguidice

    Marion Loguidice

    “I was blown away by how thorough Chris’s marketing plan was. It was the perfect road map for me to set foot on! I was given a wealth of information and a very clear and poignant direction to move in. This marketing plan was the best money I’ve spent so far.”


    John Mark McMillian

    John Mark McMillian

    With comparisons ranging from Springsteen to Yorn, singer/songwriter John Mark McMillan’s music has been described as “gutsy, poetic rock ‘n’ roll.”

    Campaign Angle: Christian

    Jesse Terry

    Jesse Terry

    Intimate and pastoral Americana that has been favorably compared to Jackson Browne, Ryan Adams, Paul Simon and James Taylor.

    Campaign Angle: Crowd-funding, DIY Musician

    Jane Lui

    Jane Lui

    With well over a million views on YouTube and a passionate cult following she has been described by 944 magazine as a “quirky yet undeniably charming personality…an absolute must-hear.”

    Campaign Angles: Geek, Asian-American, ComicCon



    This alternative-rock duo with big hooks, smooth vocal harmonies, and emotional acoustic guitar toured and played for hundreds of thousands of fans throughout the 90s selling 500,000 albums.

    Campaign Angles: Wine, Heritage Artists, Building up Social Media presence from scratch

    Isreal Houghton

    Isreal Houghton

    A contemporary gospel singer-songwriter who has earned two gold-selling albums, six Dove Awards, two Stellar Awards, a Soul Train Award, and four Grammy® Awards.  He is a worship leader at Joel Osteen‘s Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas.

    Campaign Angles: Grammy® Award Winner, Christian Artist

    Imagine Dragons

    Imagine Dragons

    Before they became the internationally successful band we all know, Imagine Dragons were Cyber PR® artists.

    Campaign Angles: Rock, Alternative, Indie Pop

    Hot Buttered Rum

    Hot Buttered Rum

    Five-piece progressive bluegrass act based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The group performs frequently at music festivals, including the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Newport Folk Festival, South by Southwest, High Sierra Music Festival, Bonnaroo Music Festival, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.

    Campaign Angles:  Bluegrass, Newgrass, Touring Artists

    Reality Check: Blogging Won’t Work Unless You Are Dedicated

    Reality Check: Blogging Won’t Work Unless You Are Dedicated

    This was originally published as a part of the AMAZING collection of advices pieces published by Chris Rockett on the Promote Your Music blog.

    When Chris asked me to weigh with my thoughts about blogging, my head started spinning. I’ve written multiple posts about blogging: How to blog, why you should blog, and what the best platforms to use are. It’s a full chapter in both of my books that are available now and it’s a full chapter in my forthcoming book Cyber PR for Musicians.

    So, I’m going to be the reality check in this series: Here’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room

    There is no doubt that a blogging strategy when properly executed (which is something you can search and find tens of thousands of entries on how to do properly using Google) will help you enormously.

    I won’t go into why because I’m quite certain all of my colleagues in this blog series points that out but here is what I see:

    Blogging takes dedication and commitment.

    It takes having something you want to talk about but that’s the easy part.

    The hard parts are:

    • Staying consistent
    • Staying patient
    • Being dedicated to a blogging practice

    But the even harder part is: Understanding the BIG PICTURE

    (Sorry for all the capital letters – I’m really passionate about this and I want you to get this.)

    You want to succeed and you want recognition. But you still think someone else will come in and discover you, review you, write about you, tell the world how fantastic your music is, book you and make it happen for you.

    They WILL — but you don’t want to do what it takes to earn it blogging is earning it.

    Here’s a study that backs all of this up that I have been dying to share. A few weeks ago, I attended The Pivot conference and it mostly talked about how corporate social media works. The most fascinating few minutes came from a study presented by @alison222 from MTV.

    It was about Millennials (that’s fans between the ages 18 and 29) and how they approach music, how they think and what they want.

    This study defines the recent transformation of the music industry

    The topic of her presentation was: How to recognize & reward consumer as PR machine

    Here are the bulleted highlights, see for yourself:

    • Discovery is a very important part of Millennials experience

    • Millennials like Jenny who a part of the study now a 22 yr. old was 10 when Napster hit…. She has ALWAYS KNOWN FREE MUSIC

    • It’s all about coming up w your own personal brand identity and that is influenced by the artists you love

    • 85% of all music lovers say they have eclectic taste – with technology you can find out about Etta James and Dave Matthews and Drake and Aerosmith

    • Millenials discover all music through friends on social media

    • 76% feel a stronger connection to musician who shares

    • They are demanding total interaction from artists

    • More is EXCEPCTED from the artists now

    • Buying the music is SYMBOLIC PATRONAGE – you must have earned it has nothing to do with ethics (i.e I am only paying money out of respect)

    1. DISCOVERY – The starting place for most music discoverers it STARTS on Social Media then they will check it out on Spotify and the last step is an iTunes purchase (if they LOVE IT and if you have EARNED IT)

    2. AFFINITY – They expect to feel connected. This means the artist needs to be on Social Media

    3. ADVOCACY – This is their final step – They become your mini PR team

    I believe this is not just Millennials- – I’ve seen it hundreds of times with all age groups.

    The reality is they want a piece of you and if you do not give it to them they WON’T BUY,

    Here Are The 3 Takeaways:

    1 .Fans will work hard for you but they ask: When are you gonna pay me back?

    2. You are my branding machine online

    3. It goes BOTH WAYS

    So, Go Blog.

    Love Ariel.

    Sound Advice TV – Finding Your Inner Compass

    YouTube Preview Image

    In this Sound Advice TV episode, I speak with Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby about following your inner compass (your gut!).

    Your Giant Gratitude List on Thanksgiving – 250 Musicians Weigh In…

    Your Giant Gratitude List on Thanksgiving – 250 Musicians Weigh In…

    I wanted to take a moment to wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving! (for those of you not in the United States, bear with me)

    Today I wanted to let you know that I am thankful for you. Thank you for allowing me to live my dream in this music industry. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for following me on Twitter. Thank you for buying my books, coming to see me speak and most of all, thank you for making music.

    The results of my survey were fantastic and I will be using them to make some HUGE announcements over the next few weeks. But I wanted to share with you what the respondants are most grateful and thankful for in 2012…

    …that my closet friends stuck with me through all the headaches heartaches and believed in what we are and were doing.

    This was the year I went public with my music, and I connected with a few people who really like it and at least for the moment, my song / band / etc was their favorite.

    Hard to say. Santa Fe is a small town, good & bad, easy to get noticed, diminishing number of venues.

    …the amazing and inspirational musicians I have gotten close to, give me ideas and help me keep the faith.

    …the friendships we have made by engaging the Chicago music scene!

    …I released my first mixtape on

    …learning so much about social media that I’m confident to do it myself.

    …the house we were given to live in and base out of for our Southern Immersion tour, and the response to our latest album.

    …meeting successful people.

    …meeting great people who are down to earth.

    …that I had to make more copies of the last album as the first ones were sold out.

    I am grateful to all those that came to see us play!

    …being able to find a producer who can really master the production of my songs, and who can really understand the mood of the song.

    …the people I’ve met. The music I’ve heard.

    Great question! We’ve had some really outstanding performance opportunities this year. We are moving to the next level!

    …working with great songwriters and musicians, and having our tracks turn out beautifully. And the fact that they are all good people with love for humanity.

    …house concerts and dedicated music fans.

    …that I have one! Continuing to cobble together some semblance of a livelihood for 16 years now.

    … I scratched off my bucket list 5 songs that I had promised to record myself & release them.

    …I’m a full-time musician making a living at what I love to do.

    …I gained a lot in music rosy ruin knowledge, and the new artist growth app was great!

    …the band’s growth & being respected by our local music scene in New Jersey. All our new fans & supporters. We’re also thankful for having each other.

    …2 cds released.

    My fans are the best and I would probably feel completely lost without them.

    …friends’ support and help

    …that it still drives me to keep going.

    ..that it was possible to create an album and get it on iTunes and Amazon and listed on a good number of websites.

    …I write better songs than those winning the local TAMI awards.

    …getting our CD played all over Europe.

    …I just finished an EP that has four new quality recordings, and am already Working on the follow up. My songwriting has been my greatest strength, which is obviously essential.

    …my girlfriend

    …the musicians I’ve worked with who have given much more than I can currently repay them for with money.

    …developing a strong bond with our fan base in core, local/regional markets, like Vienna/Austria, Innsbruck/Austria, Nuremberg/Germany etc.

    …getting to perform at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival in Victoria, Australia.

    …loyal fans

    …our new booking agency and live production company.

    …that I’ve been able to work with some really cool artists and have learned from some of the best industry professionals.

    …working with the producers at Stratosphere Studios in New York.

    …the experiences from botching my promotion campaign.

    …performing live

    …good songwriting workshops this year.

    …that God saw fit to bless me with talent and desire to write, record, and share music to glorify His Matchless Name

    …my band mates and air play we do receive on 100.9 Canoe FM in Haliburton On. Canada.

    …making great tracks.

    …supportive (but small) international audience.

    …working and connecting with inspiring people. It’s all about the journey!

    I’ve been in this business for over 50 years and have written some good music.
    …I got out of my comfort zone — I tried new sorts of gigs, spent two weeks in NYC to perform at open mics and get in touch with other musicians there, and planned some new projects for NEXT year.

    …my Grammy nomination

    …just the pure freedom of expression

    I am most grateful that I had 3 very special performance moments in September that will keep me going for a long time.

    …being able to release an independent album and get on the ballot for 55th Grammys

    …EVERYTHING!! Huge year so incredibly blessed and grateful

    …great songwriting partners.

    …I’ve gotten better at my craft.

    …starting my label.

    …I have started to get open mike features, which is a nice step up from just playing at Open Mikes. I am also happy that I got my digital album done using recordings I made at Open Mikes.

    …the chance to work with an internationally-acclaimed producer to make a “grown-up record!”

    I am grateful that I finally was able to publish my first book and get YouTube videos up for 4 of my songs, including Rockrhydin! That was on my “List” from when I first began working with you Ariel in 2009!

    …that I found Cari Cole’s programs. They build on what I’ve learned from Ariel’s books. It’s good they’re friends.

    …that the songs remain meaningful to me and to a small group of others!

    …Cari Cole.


    …our expansion of “friend-base” and the feeling of growth. We’ve played more shows this year, we’ve written new music and we have a defined plan for 2013. Over-all 2012 has been a great year for my band, Anyone’s Guess.

    …the Music, the Musicians and the audience

    …fans. They keep saying nice things about me.

    …I’m sincere, Review You and

    …a steady supply of students and a large waiting list, consistent employment, support to attend a conference that proved very valuable for my career and subsequent networking and purchases of my music.

    At this stage I’m not really into a music career yet… My main concern is being heard, and I really have to produce new material at the moment. Curiously I’m thankful to Facebook and their ad system. It allowed me to gain lots of new fans, my page likes jumped from 120 likes to 1,400 in 4 months running campaigns and promoting a free EP, my mailing list increased accordingly. Can’t wait to release new material in order to see what’s going to happen with what I learned. Hope my answers help, cheers Ariel :)

    …sourcing a publishing deal.

    …I had a lot of great feedback and reviews of my latest CD.


    … I still having the time to rehearse for and play solo gigs.

    …despite all the pressures, the stage still gives the same release and fulfillment when I am up there.

    …the opportunity to play drums with my son on bass for a comedy play come musical. Learned lots about theatre protocol. It’s different to rock. Playing drums on a popular local charity last weekend. Taking time to relax. The Dandy Warhols after party last Tuesday Night. Seeing Crazy P for the first time. Playing choice gigs & choosing to do random spots as a percussionist. Continuing to work on scizzorman. Beginning to write more lyrics.

    …I have built up a very loyal following this year, as well as having a lot of professional reviews of my music, which was a good thing, as I learned that my production value could not be faulted.

    …splitting up with our label and going independent again.

    …the extremely passionate feedback we have received from many core fans regarding the magic that our CD The 7 Melodies has brought into their lives.

    I am grateful to ReverbNation for all help and support, and grateful to Spaced out magazine for giving me chances in their magazine.

    …playing for some of my friends at a house show.

    …worldwide airplay and recognition.

    …being able to play in Wellington.

    …that I’ve finally started to get more likes on FB and that I managed to stay in the top 10 for a song competition run via ReverbNation.

    …looking closer at my shortcomings in music and making changes.

    …finally releasing my first album and having it not be an abject failure!

    …I got to play at Northampton’s Umbrella Fair. Not much else.

    …grateful that Facebook and YouTube and Twitter give us the chance to reach the world.

    There have been some significant developments: more consistent gigging locally; took part in Cyber PR’s 9/11 Tribute that got one of my songs into many ears; got invited to play at Flora-Bama (Frank Brown Internat’l Songwriters Festival), which put me in front of lots of industry people and just plain music-loving folks.

    …I have learned to turn down inappropriate gigs/ops, to free up more time for other things – working less for more money, and the appropriate audience

    …making the time to practice and write more intensively, and putting that on the top of my priority list.


    …working for Don Was, Dennis Coffey, Drew Schultz….a great aesthetic year.

    …that despite the challenges I never give up. It’s hard, but I’ll find a way.

    …friends and family support and a good network of artists.

    …getting selected as a Finalist for our song “Run” in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.

    …help from people who still believe in my music, voice, etc.

    …a nomination for 2012 BMA (Black Music Award).

    …the ability to continue to procreate music.

    …each year I get closer to becoming the player/writer/singer I was meant to be.

    …acquiring very good gear.


    I am not thankful about anything yet. Nothing has developed for me.

    …my health and financial stability, they’ve allowed me to have time and freedom to hopefully pursue music more in 2013 and get promotions/social media/PR assistance.

    I’m most grateful for my successful Kickstarter campaign, which helped me feel a sense of validation that what I’m doing as an artist is worthwhile, and helped me identify my “core” supporters.

    …touring 4 countries, playing a lot of shows, but never invited to perform with other bands.

    …lots of folk radio airplay for our new CD, better gigs but not enough people attending them.

    …that Big Kettle Drum made it through another year of being a full-time Indie band without support of any label, machine, etc…After firing management, players and almost 30,000 “fans” we were able to rebuild with our “true” fans and find a renewed passion to stay on the road. – Brant Christopher/Big Kettle Drum

    …I got to play at the OC Fair and put together a talented band.
    …being able to contribute in my small way with my DJ mixes online.

    …that I can still make a good living as a musician/producer. Every year, friends leave the business because it is getting harder and harder to make a living.

    …music industry participants such as Ariel.

    …having studied with Cari Cole, having accomplished a lot of my goals on my Calendar: releasing my new CD with awesome people and musicians, going on a NW West Coast Tour, all the friends who welcomed me, speaking at the IMC and feeling validated appreciated and experiencing how much I have to share, watching dreams I used to think out of reach come true, traveling with music and touching peoples’ hearts, being told many times that when I play I make people happy :)

    …that the landscape is changing for the independent artist. As I complete more music it is looking more beneficial being an independent artist if you handle your career properly.

    …the Internet.

    …those great people that become close friends both personally and professionally. The ones that may take a while to find but when they come along its like a big anchor that helps you stand your ground and renew your faith, fun and belief in the possibilities of being an artist.

    …my personal life.

    …venues rebook my band – they like my original songs!!

    …finding an encouraging but critical producer.
    11/15/2012 6:19 PMView Responses
    …the tax break.

    …the joy of spending time with my friends in the band :-)

    …that I have one and that I am not constantly bemoaning the death of the music business. I think it’s alive and well and I have work I find fulfilling.

    …support I’ve received from Michael Friedman and his crew in Boston with SKOPE Magazine and their genuine like of some of our recordings; international exposure on JANGO and lots of new fans there; and distribution by Blue Pie Records of Australia of one of our CDs.


    …performing with Robben Ford, Robert Randolph, Bobby Rush.

    …commitment to record my new album.

    …I get to do what I love and it feeds me and puts a roof over my head… and buys the dog food :) And our fans… they are amazing.

    …finishing my CD, strong bookings.

    …I made a great album, with a great producer and it charted well all over the world and I sold enough to pay for all it took to make it and publicize it.

    …I made a great album, with a great producer and it charted well all over the world and I sold enough to pay for all it took to make it and publicize it.

    …you, Ariel. Your book is helpful and your emails keep the candle burning. (I love the feeling of a well-browned nose.)

    …finishing my album and getting opportunities to perform at amazing venues like the Bitter End and Webster Hall ( even if I was only an opener :) )

    …the fact that after a great 2011 things didn’t simply come to a grinding halt while the next project gets done.

    …the small group of people who understand, enjoy, appreciate, and support what I do AND the privilege of being able to do *anything* I want artistically.

    …that I can pursue this amazing career, and have the support of many friends and family.

    I am SO grateful that I was able to finish and release my latest album, ‘Remnants of the Fall,’ which is a double CD and took me 4 1/2 years to finish!

    …that I have so many outlets and connections.

    I’m grateful for the focus and business outlook I gained from the 9 Week Challenge…. really positive and encouraging feedback I’m getting regarding my music and performance… inspiration and friendship from songwriting community networks. :)

    …getting Fue ( selected to be part of The 2012 Extreme Tour, the band’s first national tour. Now what?

    …still alive.

    …the amazingly talented people I write and play with.

    I’m grateful for the lovely community of fans who are there and enjoying my music.

    …the fans and investors who helped finance the EP and radio campaign coming in January of 2013. And the songs Scott somehow managed to write… they keep us all inspired…

    …incredible opportunities to meet incredible people.

    …for the stations who are supportive and consistently play my tracks.

    …rebuilding our band with new material and a new direction after our lead singer (and main promoter/manager) left the line up.

    …I raised $ through indiegogo to completely cover my expenses to record and manufacture my new CD, WORTHY. PLUS help to give 32 women (who suffer from Obstetric Fistula) in Gambella, Ethiopia a new beginning.

    I’m grateful for the experience of recording my album. Especially the opportunity to record my late grandfather’s songs in the same studio as he recorded them 66 years ago.

    …we are building a nice international following and getting airplay all over the internet outside of the us. We have released our debut album online and produced a great sounding recording for very little money.

    Honestly? This year I am most grateful for Slate Digital’s VCC/VTM plugins (for DAWs). Never liked the sound of digital (especially mp3s) as they make music sound cheap. These tools have reintroduced the fat analog console/tape sound back into the process. Now my finished works sound like records!

    …having a management team that will do anything for us.

    …the opportunity to pursue music full-time, without a day gig.

    I’ve always told myself that I’m no good at marketing. I’ve come to realize that was a self-limiting thought and so now I’m telling myself that I can do it, and taking baby steps to learn and get better at it.

    …for the people in my life who believe in me even when I don’t.

    …ironically, that I was ABLE to do all the marketing, promoting, etc. myself when I didn’t have the money to pay someone else. Just wish I didn’t HAVE to… :-)

    …I’m working with a vocal coach and it is actually helping a lot.

    I am grateful for gaining more ways and knowledge to better myself, get the word out and develop more contacts that make things happen, also grateful for Ariel Publicity.

    …my band mates are all honest good human beings to share my vision with.

    …mentors in the industry through forums, music societies, etc.

    ..that it was more lucrative than I could have imagined as fast as it was. And that I never had to tour one time outside of the area where I live (everything was within driving distance).

    2012 marks 10 years of making music my full time career and not having a “boss”. While there is always more strive for a “certain kind of success”, I am SOOO thankful to be able to support myself and be comfortable waking up doing what I love every day.

    …a voice to sing and fingers to play guitar.

    …the release of my band’s debut album after 2 1/2 years of slowly recording it.

    I’m thankful I still have a gig.

    …fans that appreciate my music and help to spread the word to their friends add music lovers.

    …my skill set which has been in the making last 20 years.

    …production of lots new music Increasing fan base/loyalty of old fans.
    …being able to play in six countries.

    …I had an unbelievable 4-month tour where I met great people, more exposure and was able to support myself financially. I’m surprised this was possible.

    …that I’m still excited about it and have a clear vision for what I want to accomplish.

    …learning ways to put the songs together and realizing it is actually possible to do it myself though cost is an issue.

    I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve come across this year. A lot of which I’ve stumbled across, but I’m thankful they happened. Also, I’m glad your service exists. Some of the reviews your staff has written have landed me in a few magazines the past couple of years to be exact. One of which I didn’t even submit to. Thanks!

    …my wife’s understanding and allowing me enormous amount of time to do all the homework necessary to launch this all-encompassing music career.

    …developing a new project which exists successfully and earns some money, pushing the one I had been working on for some time one step further, a beginning of a new collaboration.

    …finally have a website!!!

    …knowing when to stop doing (for me) that which is impossible…at my age.

    …the concerts that came my way w/o any work on my part.

    …my fingers and vocal cords.

    …I made great strides in my technical abilities and put out some good music, and connected with fans and other musicians in meaningful ways. Good year.

    …increased band awareness and a better gigging year

    …that I hired YOU to teach me and run my Social Media campaign and Cyber PR! That my CD went to #2 on the state RMR charts and #2 on the national RMR charts.

    I’m grateful to have stuck with my guns to release new music every month and that I’ve made some great connections in the Film/TV licensing world.

    …writing new songs and networking with lots of other great songwriters.

    …my talent :-) Seriously, everything else is just tools to help get from here to there. Without my songwriting, nothing else matters.

    …lots of gigs.

    …an equipment endorsement and the completion of the band’s and personal music websites.

    …I released two CD albums this year: a solo album and a band album. The realization of a lot of work and planning coming to fruition.

    …opportunities we have had so far to create music.

    …the music that has been synchronized.

    ..CD Baby. contacts, being “in the room” rather than outside it.

    …the experience.

    …the many paid performances I received, including the 15 summer camps in five days during the summer.

    …my booking agent.

    …improving my voice through consistent practice and lessons.

    …that I no longer work in academia, and I’m making better bread.

    …that I can hear and understand music.

    …support and faith from my peers in times of darkness.

    …I bought a new guitar and it’s really cool.

    …meeting the people I have met in Dallas … 2 people gave me opportunities to score or mix film audio for their projects. Neither were dollar-producing, and I even spent about $1,000 on the music production (musicians and studio) for one of the projects.

    …a wonderful producer and writing process.

    …consistent play over the years on Music Choice.

    …my band and my large network of supportive family and friends.

    …scoring the soundtracks for the app Quell by Fallen Tree Games is turning out to be a real career booster, and financially very sound. It’s even leading to a whole album of the soundtracks I’ve done that I’ll be able to release independently.

    …interaction from listeners.

    …awards won.

    …I gained a fair amount of knowledge about what can help me get to the next level in terms of touring (via connections, festivals, workshops)


    …I’m thankful for the fan base that has been built so far, the ability to do my 2nd release for the Holidays, and for my amazing Team of Producers and marketer. Just wish I had more $ to keep it up.

    …my 2012 release was very well received and is getting significant airplay.

    …increased exposure.

    …the release of first CD.


    ..the gift of singing and communicating through music. The possibility of using music as a means to weave a life of our own design

    … that I have taken the opportunity to be brave and put myself out there (thanks to YOU, actually) Instead of waiting for the perfection, I’ve decided to relish the mistakes, learn grow and laugh, not to take ANYTHING as failure. It is all just a part of the master plan.

    …that I had my first cut, 3 contracts, contacts made, co-writes achieved.

    …my band and our hang time in The Van. And the people who listen. And the musical magic. And the beautiful places I’ve been to. And all the positive feedback from random people at shows. And the memories of being on the road and crazy shit happening that only happens to dive bar bands. Laughing my ass off as I go to sleep every Sunday remembering the insanity of the weekend.

    …the support of all the people who newly discovered or are long fans.

    …I found a manager, people support me.

    …working with Cari Cole in her Fast Forward to Fame course.

    …recording a full-length album with an amazing producer, and it has gotten great feedback (such as at this year’s Taxi Road Rally). The feedback has been very heartening, and I’m optimistic about 2013.

    My most grateful times is still able to have passion for the industry.

    I’m thankful that I’ve discovered teaching music privately. I feel like, as an educator, I can finally be taken seriously as a musician (as weird as that sounds).

    …finally gigging, son.

    …fans still finding and buying my music/CDBaby’s digital distribution.

    …the amazing opportunities that clubs, radios and others in the area have provided to us.

    …being able to collaborate with some amazing musicians and artists.

    …the continued relationships I do business with.

    Duran Duran

    Duran Duran

    This band needs no introduction, but we will say this… Ariel has the same birthday as John Taylor and she can tell a true Duranie by the fact that they gasp when she tells them her birthday.

    Campaign Angle: Making Household Name Podsafe

    Derek Nicoletto

    Derek Nicoletto

    An electro-pop / dance artist who has become the outspoken voice of the LGBT community. Charting on hundreds of FM & college stations, and performing live on Sirius; Derek’s songs have reached millions of people. His songs have been used in over 25 TV shows and commercials.

    Campaign Angles: LGBT, Gay Parenting

    Darius Lux

    Darius Lux

    An LA-based rock-pop singer-songwriter who honed his skills writing songs recorded by Hall & Oates and Jennifer Lopez before traveling the world penning his journey into his own original music.

    Campaign Angles: Songwriter, Travel, Gluten-Free, see our Case Study



    These two best friends met in their high school music class in 2002; they have since released five albums and toured extensively across North America. Darlings of the Canadian music scene, Dala are now poised to bring their fresh brand of acoustic pop music to the world.

    Campaign Angles: First US Tour, Gaining Traction in the USA

    Chris Daniels & The Kings

    Chris Daniels & The Kings

    Colorado Music Hall of Famer and fixture of the Telluride bluegrass scene, he toured with B.B. King, Blues Traveler and The Neville Brothers. He bravely fought and beat cancer in 2010 and released his most poignant album to date.

    Campaign Angles: Bluegrass, Americana, Cancer, Medical Marijuana

    Carrie Rodriguez

    Carrie Rodriguez

    A veritable superstar in the Americana world who has toured the US and Europe extensively, performing with John Prine, Alejandro Escovedo, Los Lonely Boys and Bruce Hornsby.

    Campaign Angles: Mexican-American, ‘Daughter of’ and ‘Granddaughter of’

    Carly Patterson

    Carly Patterson

    An American singer and former gymnast. She is the 2004 Olympic All-Around Champion and a member of the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

    Campaign Angles: Olympics, Second Career

    Yael Naim

    Yael Naim

    Her hit single “New Soul” was used by Apple in an advertising campaign for its MacBook Air. The song peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100.

    Campaign Angles:  Jewish, Apple Commercial, Hit Single

    Cab 20

    Cab 20

    Inspired by an array of acts like Queens of the Stone Age, T-Rex and the Black Keys, this garage rock-trio is heavy, but not hard rock.

    Campaign Angle: Reality TV Appearance (NBC’s Shark Tank)


    Brett Dennen

    Brett Dennen

    A folk-pop singer/songwriter from Northern California who has been internationally touring for 10 years.

    Campaign Angle: Emerging Star

    Bowling For Soup

    Bowling For Soup

    Kicking out fresh songs, ridiculous videos, and album after album of music since 1994.

    Campaign Angles:  Comedy, Daddy Bloggers, Pop Punk, Touring Band

    Assembly of Dust

    Assembly of Dust

    A rock band formed by former Strangefolk frontman Reid Genauer.

    Campaign Angles: New project for beloved Jam icon.

    Art Decade

    Art Decade

    Boston-based rock group that sounds like David Bowie drinking a cup of tea brewed by Van Gogh after winning a tennis match with Mozart. Cyber PR®placed them in a feature article on which highlighted their innovative video.

    Campaign Angle: App Tech (Created a Stunning Music Video Using a $5 iPad App).

    Alice Smith

    Alice Smith

    New York City-based neo-soul chanteuse known for her four-octave vocal range and stunning stage presence.

    Campaign Angle: Major label artist in need of blog press

    Sound Advice TV – How Derek Sivers Founded CD Baby

    YouTube Preview Image

    In this episode of Sound Advice TV, Derek Sivers discusses his backstory and how (and why) he founded CD Baby.

    5 Things All Musicians Need BEFORE Starting a Digital PR Campaign

    5 Things All Musicians Need BEFORE Starting a Digital PR Campaign

    For independent musicians, a digital publicity campaign can be a critical component to the overall marketing strategy that will help to:

    1. Reach new fans
    2. Increase online influence
    3. Create new content that can be used to continue to build strength of existing fan base through social media

    While all three of these are important goals for musicians to have, and there is no doubt that a PR campaign can help artists to achieve them, many musicians decide to jump into this too early. Without the proper assets, the likelihood that you will actually achieve these goals from a PR campaign are greatly decreased.

    In order for a PR campaign to truly be successful, you must have the 5 following assets:

    1. Music Ready For Release

    Let’s get this out of the way right now. If you don’t have music ready to go, then there is no need for a PR campaign. No matter what direction or niche is targeted during a PR campaign, if you don’t have music available to be shared with media makers (bloggers, podcasters, iradio station DJs), then you’re wasting your time and money.

    The ideal scenario is that you have at least an upcoming EP (containing at least 4 songs) that is planned for release around 1 to 1.5 months into the PR campaign. For the most part, bloggers don’t like to mention an upcoming release if there is any more than 1 month of lead-time between the feature and the release.

    That said, it IS certainly possible to do a PR campaign for music that has been released previously. As long as the music is available and a unique story can be told, a digital PR campaign can be done effectively.

    Bonus Note: Your songs MUST be professionally recorded. Live tracks are fine if your are promoting a live release, but even then the mix needs to be of professional quality.

    2. A Professional, Compelling Bio

    A professionally written bio that weaves a compelling story about who you are and what makes you unique is THE #1 asset that you need for an effective PR campaign (after the music of course).

    While many bloggers still write their own content, it is often the case that a blogger will re-purpose the bio in order to create enough content for his or her blog on a consistent basis.

    This is bad news for you if you’re bio is one paragraph saying that you are a musician from so-and-so making rock music that will blow everyone’s mind.

    This is, however, good news for you if you have a strong bio! That fact that many bloggers will re-purpose the bio means that you now have the opportunity to control the messaging of their features, telling their readers the important points about you that may stick out to fans as unique and intriguing.

    A professional bio can run you a few hundred dollars, but it will not only mean the difference between success and failure of a PR campaign, but it will also be a critical asset that you’ll be able to use long after the campaign has ended.

    Full-Disclosure: We at Cyber PR® have an INCREDIBLE bio writer who has written dozens of bios for many of our artists. If you need a bio, contact us!

    3. Professional Promo Photos

    All bloggers (and even some podcasters) will want a photo to go along with their feature that includes your music. Many new media makers have a quality standard to uphold and poor photos of you and/ or your band could actually be a deal breaker.

    On the other hand, unique, creative and well-shot promo photos can actually be the ice breaker needed to get new media makers to check out your music.

    Here are a few great promo photos of a few Cyber PR® clients that absolutely helped them to have great campaigns:

    Lila Rose – @lilarosemusic


    The Midtown Men – @TheMidtownMen


    Derek Webb – @DerekWebb


    4. A Niche to Conquer

    Identifying a specific niche to target is a critical component to any successful digital publicity campaign.

    It is important to note that your niche does not, in any way, need to reflect your genre of music. Anything that you are passionate about, anything that has inflicted you as a person (such as a disease or disability) or any part of your upbringing that has helped to define who you are as a person and a musician can be a great niche.

    The idea here is that on music blogs, you are just another musician being covered, however on, say a positivity blog or a yoga blog, you are the one, or one of very few musicians being covered making your story and your music far more unique which can help it to resonate with the reader-base.

    A few niches that we have worked with in the past that present great opportunities for independent musicians:

    • Tech
    • DIY Music Marketing
    • Positivity
    • Yoga
    • Gay Parenting
    • Early-Childhood Education
    • Songwriting
    • Human Rights Advocacy
    • Politics

    5. A Social Media Presence

    Too many musicians under-estimate the importance of a social media presence to a digital publicity campaign. While the music, the bio and the promo photos are all critical assets to have when planning for a successful campaign, there are two reasons why it is so important that you also have a strong social media presence:

        1. With so many musicians and digital publicists inundating the inboxes of new media makers, it is inevitable that they will check out the social media presence of each submission as a filter for who to, and who not to consider for coverage.

    This certainly doesn’t mean that you need to have a HUGE social media presence with hundreds of thousands of fans, but it does mean that you need to be consistently posting to your socials, and engaging with your fans. Ultimately a new media maker wants to know that if they are going to take the time to cover your music, you will be able to return the support by sharing the feature with your fans, helping them to build their own following as well.

    2. In order for a digital publicity campaign to truly be effective, each feature delivered within needs to be properly leveraged through social media to mobilize the existing fan base.

    In other words, each feature is new content that you can use to engage your fans without having to say ‘listen to my music’… this form of sharing your successes is a much more subtle form of self-promotion than the much dreaded shameless self-promo that all too many musicians practice.

    Again, having hundreds of thousands of fans isn’t the point here, but rather you need to have a consistent content strategy that covers all 6 rooms of your social media house, which includes (but isn’t limited to) Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, Blog, Newsletter. Here is a quick outline of how often you need to post to each platform in order to remain ‘consistent’:


        1 Post Per Day


        2 – 3 Tweets Per Day


        At least 1 new post every other week


        1 newsletter per month


        At least 1 new video per month (note this doesn’t need to be a professional music video)


      Posting at each of your boards at least once per day

    What Has Helped YOUR Digital Publicity Campaigns?

    These 5 assets can absolutely help you to achieve your goals through a digital pubilicity campaigns, but there are MANY other potential assets out there that can assist in this process as well. What have YOU used to help you to achieve your goals through digital publicity campaign?

    Ariel Hyatt in New York, NY on 01/17/12